Stars-Predators Preview: Dallas Must Take True Form to Record First Win
The Stars have a great record against the Predators at home, dating back to when the Stars played at Reunion Arena. Although I’m unable to recall the record, I am thinking it is something like 14-6. Either way, it is a boost for the Stars heading into tonight.
Stars fans are hungry for the team's first real win. The home town crowd will be loud and crazy for their beloved Stars.
Keys to the Game
The Stars' top line must produce. To this point, Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow have been invisible, to say the least. When their top offensive guys are Trevor Daley (two goals in two games) and James Neal (a rookie who scored a clutch goal), your team is having problems.
The Stars must score on the man advantage. With so much talent, there is no excuse to be getting so many opportunities and without putting the puck in the net. Likely, Coach Tippett will have formed new lines for the power play for tonight’s game.
Sean Avery must avoid misconducts. The NHL allows two per season before the player receives fines and starts having issues with the league. Avery received his two in the last game against the Predators. He was brought in to add grit, but so far Avery has been like an angry child having a tantrum at Wal-mart. Avery can’t score for the Stars if he is pouting in the locker room.
The Stars' Swedish sensation, Fabian Brunnstrom, will likely get his first start tonight. According to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Brunnstrom has been skating with Sean Avery and Brad Richards in practice.
"He's certainly a well-talked-about player, but that doesn't change the process for him," Stars coach Dave Tippett said in Heika’s Stars blog. "The first game he plays isn't going to match a year's hype. That's just not reality. This is a process, and we're just getting started."
Dallas: RW Jere Lehtinen (groin) is doubtful. D Sergei Zubov (hip) is out.
Nashville: C Jason Arnott (hand), RW Steve Sullivan (back), RW Jed Ortmeyer (knee) and C Nick Tarnasky (thumb) are out.
Tonight’s game against the Predators will be in Dallas at the American Airlines Center. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 pm Central. Television broadcast will be on Fox Sports Southwest, and radio broadcast will be on WBAP-AM 820. Internet broadcasts can be found on the Stars' website and NHL.com.
Ken Armer is a senior hockey writer and Community Leader for the NHL and Dallas Stars. You can contact him on his profile or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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