Dallas Stars Look To Return To Winning Ways Against Flames

The Dallas Stars start their swing through Western Canada tonight with a matchup against the Calgary Flames.

The annual Western Canada road swing begins tonight for the Dallas Stars. They start it out against the Calgary Flames in the first night of a back-to-back before traveling to Edmonton for their second game tomorrow.

The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Southwest (FSSW), and you can also hear it on 1310AM/96.7FM The Ticket. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.

Records and Scores

The Dallas Stars come into tonight’s contest with a shaky record of 4-6-3 and 11 points. They’re currently sixth place in the Central Division, but could move into a tie for third with a win tonight. Their most recent game comes as a massacre of a loss to the Winnipeg Jets by a final score of 8-2. They are 1-2-2 in their last five games.

The Calgary Flames, on the other hand, seem to be going through some similar struggles. They are 5-8-1 with 11 points so far. They’re sixth place in the Pacific Division, but could slide into a wild card spot with a win. Their most recent game was a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks and they are 1-4-0 in their last five games.

Storylines

Stars and Flames suffering in same fashion

The Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames are in a very similar boat right now: suffering through periods of inconsistency. The Stars have played 13 games compared to the Flames’ 14, and neither have made a significant dent with their play so far. Both have 11 points, both are on ugly losing streaks, and both are towards the bottom of their division.

The Stars and Flames are playing a very dry style of game, making costly mistakes, and not getting the production they expected.

Both need to come to terms with their lacking play before it’s too late, and tonight is the perfect opportunity. One of them HAS to walk away with a win, right?

The Flames have a worse special teams unit than the Stars. No, seriously

With injuries to Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, and Cody Eakin, the Dallas Stars special teams have definitely struggled through the first month of the season. With a lacking number of snipers and puck-movers on the power play, the Stars sit 19th with a 16.4 percent success rate. Without shorthanded grinders on the penalty kill, Dallas sits 27th in the NHL with a 75.0 percent success rate.

These numbers are nowhere near pretty and not even close to where they were last season, but things should pick up once they have a healthy roster.

But they could improve in both areas tonight. That’s because the Calgary Flames have both a worse power play and penalty kill than the Stars. The Flames currently sit dead last in the NHL for power play percentage (8.3 percent) and 29th on the penalty kill (72.4 percent). They have only scored four PP goals on 48 attempts and have given away 16 power PP goals on 58 attempts.

Calgary has been shorthanded more than any other team in the league, giving the signal that Dallas might be on the man advantage a lot tonight. Will they be able to capitalize?

Hi again, Elliott

The Dallas Stars will face off with Brian Elliott tonight for the first time since game seven of the 2016 Western Conference semifinals. Elliott went 31-for-32 in front of an appalled Dallas crowd as the Blues buried the Stars 6-1 to move on to the Western Conference Finals and leave Dallas in the dust.

In this most recent offseason, Elliott was traded to Calgary in light of the announcement of the expansion draft. Tonight, Dallas has their first chance to exact revenge. Elliott was the main thorn in the Stars’ side during their postseason series last year. He singlehandedly put the Stars’ high-flying offense in check for the duration of the series.

Maybe tonight they’ll uncork all of the rage and energy that has been bottled up for six months. After all, remember what they did to St. Louis last Thursday (6-2 victory).

Old Dallas Stars reunion

Tonight will be the first of many reunions for the Stars with some former members of the organization. It will be the first time that Dallas has faced off with RW Alex Chiasson and head coach Glen Gulutzan since the two joined the Flames in the offseason. It will also be the Stars’ first time to go up against D Jyrki Jokipakka since trading him to Calgary at last year’s trade deadline.

Injury report

The Dallas Stars will be missing C Cody Eakin (knee), LW Patrick Sharp (concussion), LW Jiri Hudler (illness). RW Ales Hemsky (hip) and LW Mattias Janmark (knee) are both on the injured reserve for at least the next few months.

The Calgary Flames will be minus the services LW Matthew Tkachuk (wrist), LW Lance Bouma (shoulder), RW Kris Versteeg (groin), and D Ladislav Smid (neck).

Projected lines

Dallas Stars

Jamie BennRadek FaksaLauri Korpikoski

Antoine RousselTyler SeguinPatrick Eaves

Curtis McKenzieDevin ShoreBrett Ritchie

Gemel SmithJustin DowlingAdam Cracknell

Dan HamhuisJohn Klingberg

Johnny OduyaStephen Johns

Jamie OleksiakJordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Calgary Flames

Johnny GaudreauSean Monahan – Alex Chiasson

Micheal FerlandMikael BacklundMichael Frolik

Hunter ShinkarukSam BennettTroy Brouwer

Linden VeyMatt StajanFreddie Hamilton

Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie

Brett KulakDeryk Engelland

Jyrki Jokipakka – Dougie Hamilton

Brian Elliott

Prediction

There is no chance that the Dallas Stars are taking that 8-2 beating from Tuesday night lightly. That being said, I expect them to go all out tonight on a Flames team that is struggling just as much as they are. Give me the Stars winning it 4-1.

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