NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 31st
(All times eastern)
Dallas Stars (6-2-5) at Nashville Predators (5-6-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams that have been both going well as of late
face off tonight at Nashville's Sommet Center, where the high-scoring Dallas
Stars will attempt to knock off a Predators team in search of a third straight
Dallas has recorded at least one point in five straight games, having gone
3-0-2 over that span, and has scored four or more goals in each of those
contests. The Stars are averaging 3.43 goals per game this season, a mark
bettered only by Calgary among Western Conference clubs.
The Stars had their offense rolling once again on Friday, although the team
still came up short in a 6-5 shootout loss to visiting Florida. Brian Sutherby
and Fabian Brunnstrom each had a goal and an assist in the loss, while both
Brenden Morrow and Tom Wandell finished with a pair of helpers.
Dallas put itself in an early 3-0 hole and trailed 4-2 early in the second
period before Mike Ribeiro and James Neal netted goals to draw the Stars even.
Florida went back in front on Rostislav Olesz' unassisted marker 1:42 into the
third, but Brunnstrom scored just over a minute later to knot the game at 5-5.
Alex Auld stopped just 24-of-29 shots for the Stars, and allowed a goal from
Olesz in the second round of the shootout that provided the winning margin.
"We showed a lot of character and persistence the way we fought back from a
3-0 deficit, but there were a lot of Florida Panthers who didn't get contested
the way they needed to be," said Dallas head coach Marc Crawford, who was
working his 1,000th career game behind the bench. "We've got to be a lot
The Predators have caught fire as of late after a rough early stretch in which
the club lost six of its first eight tests. Nashville has won three of four
since and is coming off back-to-back wins over Minnesota and Chicago,
including Thursday's 2-0 defeat of the Blackhawks at the Sommet Center.
Pekka Rinne led the charge by stopping 22 Chicago shots to notch his first
shutout of the season. The young netminder set a franchise record in that
category as a rookie in 2008-09, blanking the opposition seven times in 49
Joel Ward broke a scoreless deadlock with a power-play goal late in the second
period, with Jerred Smithson sealing the win with an empty-net tally in the
"We're making some strides," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz afterward.
"We're really happy with this effort."
The Predators played Thursday's contest without forward Martin Erat, scratched
due to a lower-body injury. The team has also been missing standout center
Jason Arnott for the past two weeks with an injured left arm, and neither is
expected to be back in the lineup this evening.
Dallas will get Steve Ott back in the lineup tonight after the physical center
served a two-game suspension for a low hit on St. Louis' Carlo Colaiacovo in
an October 24 clash. Goaltender Marty Turco, however, will sit out a second
straight outing due to flu-like symptoms.
Nashville will be aiming to avenge a 6-0 shellacking by the Stars in Dallas on
October 14. The Predators did post a 3-2 shootout win in the Lone Star State
on October 3, however.
Dallas has lost in four of its last six visits to the Music City, including
both of its trips there in 2008-09.
10/31 10:46:07 ET