Nashville Predators (18-12-4, 40 pts) @ Dallas Stars (19-13-1, 39 pts)
7:30 PM CT, December 23, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Dallas gets a chance to end their short three-game home stand on a positive note as the Nashville Predators come into town tonight. The Stars are coming off a game where they were dominated 4-1 by the Philadelphia Flyers, one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Stars are currently tied for first in the Pacific Division with the Phoenix Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks and if things go right tonight, they could go into the Christmas break with sole possession of first place.
The problem with the game with the Flyers was the penalty-kill for the Stars. That could show up again tonight as the Predators are the second-best power-play team in the NHL, converting on 21.7% of their chances. Their road PP (19.7%) isn't as good as their home precentages (24.1%) but that's certainly more than dangerous enough for the Stars. They have to stay out of the penalty box tonight if they want to win this game.
The Preds are ranked 24th in the NHL in PK percentage (79.8%) , but don't let that fool you. The majority of that percentage is due to how bad they are on their home PK (72%, second worst in the NHL). On the road, they are actually one of the best teams in the league with a 85.1 PK percentage (8th best in the NHL).