NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 14th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (26-33-7) at Dallas Stars (32-23-10), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - One day after watching one of their teammates go through a life-threatening experience, the Dallas Stars regrouped for an emotional win over the best team in the NHL.
The Stars hope to win another one for Rich Peverley when they take aim at fourth straight victory overall in Friday's home test against the Calgary Flames.
Peverley collapsed shortly after completing a shift in the first period of Monday's scheduled home game against Columbus. That contest was ultimately postponed after Peverley was successfully treated for a "cardiac event" and sent to a local hospital.
The 31-year-old forward was released from the hospital on Wednesday when it was also announced Peverley will miss the rest of the season. Peverley had a procedure performed during the preseason to correct an irregular heartbeat and will undergo another operation to deal with the issue in the near future.
Peverley, who was acquired from Boston last summer in the trade that brought Tyler Seguin to Dallas, is fourth on the Stars this season with 30 points on seven goals and 23 assists.
Captain Jamie Benn stepped up to help the Stars win Tuesday in their first game without Peverley. Benn buried the game winner 3:42 into overtime, as Dallas secured a 3-2 road victory over the NHL-leading St. Louis Blues, who had won five straight heading into the game.
Every win is big for Dallas at this stage. The club is holding on to the second wild card spot in the Western Conference at the moment, but the Stars are only one point ahead of Phoenix for that distinction. Dallas does hold two games in hand over the Coyotes and will try to use one of them to its advantage on Friday.
Dallas rebounded from the Peverley incident to collect their third straight win. Colton Sceviour and Antoine Roussel added regulation goals and Tim Thomas made 28 saves to record the win.
"I told them that you can look for a reason to lose or you can find a way to win," Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said of getting his guys mentally ready less than 24 hours after Monday's incident. "I said we need to find a way to win and we need to win it for a couple of our teammates."
With No. 1 netminder Kari Lehtonen sidelined with a head injury, Thomas expects to start again on Friday. Thomas was acquired in a trade with Florida before the trade deadline and the 39-year-old veteran is 2-1-1 with a 1.72 goals against average in four career games against Calgary.
Dallas has won three straight and five of its last six home games and is 18-10-6 as the host this season.
The Stars are 2-0 against the Flames this season and can complete the season sweep on Friday. Dallas has claimed three straight and six of the last nine meetings in this matchup overall and Calgary has dropped two in a row and four of five in Big D.
Calgary is 15 points out of a playoff spot in the West, but the Flames showed they aren't a team to be taken lightly when they slammed the visiting Anaheim Ducks by a 7-2 score on Wednesday.
Although Anaheim has been struggling lately, the Ducks still entered Wednesday's game as the top team in the Pacific Division only to get routed by the Flames.
Mikael Backlund scored twice and added an assist to lead Calgary in the surprising blowout victory. Mark Giordano notched a goal and an assist, while Mike Cammalleri, T.J. Galiardi and Ladislav Smid each scored once to help the Flames halt a brief two-game slide.
Corban Knight capped the scoring with his first NHL goal and Joni Ortio backstopped the victory with 20 saves.
"I thought that we just matched their intensity right from the start," Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said. "We caught a couple of breaks that we deserved because we created them. Two shorthanded goals, a power play goal, it was pretty fun to watch our guys go."
The Flames will try to halt a two-game road losing streak tonight in Dallas. Calgary is just 11-17-4 as the guest this season.
03/14 10:52:36 ET