Back on the ice tonight, the Dallas Stars will host the New Jersey Devils for a little cross-conference fun on at the American Airlines Center. The Stars will be coming off of their first home loss of the season Thursday night against the L.A. Kings, while the Devils are finishing up a swing out west in which they beat the Kings before falling to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-3. It will be the first time this season that the Stars face an Eastern Conference opponent, and the first of two meetings between these two teams this season. The Devils are 1-2 on their roadtrip so far and are looking to finish it up with a win to take a positive game home.
The matchup in between the pipes tonight should be a fun one to watch. Johan Hedberg has been in the crease for the Devils recently with Brodeur dealing with an injury, and has led the team to a 4-2-1 record while in goal. Despite coming off of the 5-3 defeat, his goals against (2.31) and save percentages (.926SV%) still look very impressive. He shutout the Kings in their match before the Thursday with the Stars and the veteran is providing solid play while the Devils wait for Brodeur. The Stars ace has been Kari Lehtonen, and he will start for the Stars again tonight. Thursday marked Kari’s first loss of the season and first time he had allowed more then two goals in a game. Tonight he and the Stars will be looking for a bounce-back effort on home ice.
For tonight’s game in downtown, watch the shot totals for both teams. While the Stars started out the season relying heavily on Lehtonen and were being outshot by large margins, Dallas has changed that around over the last few games. Interestingly enough they are 1-2 in that stretch. That should turn around and hopefully the Stars make this consistently stick. The Devils on the other hand have given up more then 40 shots a few times and are 0-5 on their roadtrip. Matched with the Stars solid penalty killing, things looks favorable for the Stars in this matchup but of course the game is not played on paper.
The puck drops at 7PM CST tonight at the AAC and you can catch the game on TXA 21 for TV and 1310AM The Ticket on radio. Make sure to tune in early or make it out to the arena early tonight for the pregame ceremony. The Stars will be honoring Joe Nieuwendyk, current GM and former Stars player (of course), for his election into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Joe was elected in during the summer and will officially go in on the 14th of November. Joe of course was a huge part of the Stars two runs to the Stanley Cup Finals and was the playoff MVP the year the Stars won the Cup. The ceremony should start at about 6:45, so make sure to arrive a little early.