NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, December 27th
(All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (16-17-4) at Dallas Stars (18-12-6), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars have been able to keep their momentum
going despite a number of injuries to their defensive group.
The Stars look to secure a point for a fifth straight game and avenge an
earlier loss to the Nashville Predators as the two clubs do battle on Friday
night in Dallas.
After having a two-game win streak snapped with a shootout loss in San Jose
last Saturday, the Stars rebounded with a solid 5-2 win over the Los Angeles
Kings on Monday. Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists while also adding a
fight for a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves, Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist and Shawn
Horcoff, Cody Eakin and Valeri Nichushkin all scored in the win.
Dallas has not allowed more than two goals in a game in four straight despite
missing blueliners Stephane Robidas (broken leg), Trevor Daley (sprained left
ankle), Aaron Rome (lower body) and Sergei Gonchar (concussion-like symptoms).
"We played hard as a group. Our back end played really well," Benn said. "We
don't have too much experience back there, but they handled themselves well
against one of the best teams in the league, and once again, Kari was great."
Dallas kicks off a five-game homestand tonight and is 4-1-1 since a loss in
Nashville on Dec. 12. That setback was the Stars' sixth in their last nine
meetings with the Predators.
Lehtonen made 27 saves and fell below .500 in his career against the
Predators. He is 5-6-0 with a 2.28 goals against average in 11 all-time
Carter Hutton made 33 saves for Nashville, while Patric Hornqvist, David
Legwand and Paul Gaustad all scored.
That victory by the Predators came in the middle of a three-game win streak,
but the club has since lost four straight. That includes a 6-2 loss to Boston
on Monday as the Preds allowed the Bruins to score three power-play goals.
Craig Smith scored twice, with his second tally and fourth in his past three
games pulling Nashville to within a goal 3:25 into the third period. However,
the Predators took a penalties 23 seconds apart and the Bruins scored twice in
a 49-second span.
"We had all the momentum," said Nashville coach Barry Trotz. "But our
(penalties) cost us big time. It's absolutely unacceptable."
Hutton was given the quick hook after giving up two goals on the first four
shots he faced, while Marek Mazanec yielded four goals on 29 shots against.
Mazanec has never faced the Stars, while Hutton's win earlier this month was
his first appearance against them.
12/27 10:42:56 ET