Game Preview: Stars Must Again Extinguish The Calgary Flames

Mar 24, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan (18) and Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) tussle during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Flames 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Stars begin a big four-game road trip tonight as they finish up their home-and-home series with the Calgary Flames. The Stars kicked off the two-game set with a huge 4-1 win in Dallas on Saturday afternoon, putting them back on top in the Pacific Division. Jamie Benn came up big with two goals and the Stars got back to winning, as they had only won one of their previous four games. Now the Stars have the division lead again with seven games to go, but the lead could change nightly depending on how the Stars do. The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are only one game behind with seven games to go, and the Phoenix Coyotes are tied with the Stars but only have five games left. But the Flames aren’t out of it either. With six games left to play, they sit three points behind the Kings and would likely need to win-out to make the playoffs. So expect the Flames to try to keep their hopes alive tonight in Calgary.

Mark Fistric will be out of the lineup again tonight, but hopes to return later in the road trip. Radek Dvorak will miss the game too, as he continues to battle an ankle injury. He missed three games this month already with the injury, and with a few guys being scratched nightly, the Stars are willing to let him rest it as needed to try and get healthy. The Flames injury report looks about the same with Derek Smith being questionable, while young center Mikael Backlund, veteran defenseman Cory Sarich, and T.J. Brodie are all out. Mike Cammalleri was questionable for Saturday but played and scored the only goal for Calgary and will play again tonight.

The puck drops at 8pm at the Saddledome, and the game can be found on Fox Sports Southwest and 1310AM The Ticket like normal. The Stars will be looking for the season sweep of the Flames, so far going 3-0 against Calgary including a 3-2 shootout win up north on March 4th. While the Flames aren’t a good road team, they are 20-10-6 at home. The Stars are 19-15-2 on the road, and tonight the goal is to get points no matter how they do it. If the game has to go to overtime, the Stars at this point don’t care. But this late in the season, even one point or two in overtime is better than moving on with nothing. Expect Kari Lehtonen and Miikka Kiprusoff to again start in the creases, as both teams will be depending on their main netminders in a pivot game.

  • While the game starts a road trip for the Stars, the Flames start a three-game homestand tonight.
  • Reilly Smith is with the team, but the rookie will not make his first start because of paperwork issues.
  • Brenden Morrow will again start the game on the Stars’ fourth line.
  • Ryan Garbutt will jump back into the lineup after being scratched the last four games.

Topics: Brenden Morrow, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Derek Smith, Jamie Benn, Kari Lehtonen, Los Angeles Kings, Mark Fistric, Miikka Kiprusoff, Mikael Backlund, Mike Cammalleri, Phoenix Coyotes, Radek Dvorak, San Jose Sharks

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