Despite a hard OT loss to the Anaheim Ducks the Stars bounced back with a big come-from-behind win against the division-leading San Jose Sharks on Saturday. They spent Sunday in Los Angeles with no practice, getting rest after a back-to-back set that saw them face the afformentioned Ducks and then the once again powerhouse Sharks.
The Stars are on a tear since getting Burish and Benn back on a 5-game point streak that has seen them get 9 of a possible 10 points against mostly divisional foes. Tonight they need to continue that trend of putting down Pacific rivals as they try to keep battling for a playoff spot in the west while putting distance between them and the teams who are below the threshold.
Lehtonen will be getting the start again in goal while the Kings seem to be going with Bernier, though both Quick and Bernier have been solid against the Stars in their brief careers. Lehtonen has been playing solid lately allowing the Stars to win games or at least get points during the last 5 games and he will be expected to continue that play throughout the month of March if they want to solidify themselves a playoff spot.
The post season is getting closer and closer with each game played and the Stars are running out of time to put a buffer between themsleves and the teams competing for the 7th and 8th spot. I believe the Stars can be competitive in the playoffs, but only if they get there to begin with; which I think could be a harder feat at this point.
Don’t look to see Grossman or more importantly, Richards playing tonight. Richards can’t shake the symptoms and will stay in Dallas and hopefully pick his skating back up while his team is in LA. Grossman is closer, though I don’t think we will see him in the game tonight. But, the defense has been playing fairly solid and Goligoski/Robidas are getting better and better as a pair and we are seeing Fistric’s true potential as a possible 3-4 set defenseman in the future if he can keep his physical edge up.
So, can the Stars give the Kings another loss and gain another 2 necessary points? We’ll see at 9:30pm tonight.
Stars 5, Kings 3 (With an open-netter)
First Goal: Ribeiro, 18:21 (1st)