Dallas Stars (34-26-5, 73 pts) @ Calgary Flames (29-25-11, 69 pts)
5:00 PM CT, March 4, 2012
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
As surprising as it might be, the Stars enter this game as one of the hotter teams in the league. They've gone 6-2-2 in the last 10 games and have won five of the last six games. Dallas has managed to get at least one point in each of those games though so the Stars enter tonight on a six game point streak.
It's been firing on all cylinders for Dallas during this winning streak. The defense and goaltending (mostly goaltending) has held opponents to two or less goals in each of the five wins. The only loss occurred when the Stars were beaten in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The offense has been jstu as good as the Stars have scored at least three goals in six straight games. Scoring three against this Flames team and Dallas will be very tough to beat.
The game today presents an opportunity to knock out some of the competition. The Flames sit four points behind the Stars. A win by the Stars would almost certainly give them the tiebreaker so it would be extremely difficult for the Flames to pass them. Dallas also enters this game tied with San Jose and two points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the division lead. It's crunch time now so Dallas needs to take care of the inferior teams.
The last game between these two teams was won by the Stars 3-2 in overtime. It was one of the more memorable games of the season due to the six shades of sexy goal by Mike Ribeiro.
The key tonight for the Stars will be to just take the game to the Flames. They are a team that is struggling and the Stars need to show that they are the better. Start out strong, work Kiprusoff and crash the net for rebounds. Don't let Calgary get a foothold in this game while it's close.
Kari Lehtonen takes the start tonight.
Dallas will be without Brenden Morrow (back/neck/shoulder) and Jake Dowell (broken finger). Toby Peterson will also miss this game as he returned to Dallas to be with his wife, who just gave birth to their third child.
Notes and thoughts:
- Stars are 16-14-2 on the road this year.
- The Stars PK is 17 of 18 in the last six games.
- Michael Ryder has a goal in three straight and at least a point in five straight games.
more after the jump