Dallas Stars Need To Leaf It All On The Ice To Win In Ontario

The Dallas Stars need a pick-me-up in the form of a win to start out this roadtrip. They’re hoping for a repeat of their last game against the Leafs.

Be sure to catch all the action on Fox Sports Southwest (FSSW), or on 1310 AM/ 96.7FM The Ticket. And from  puck drop at 7:30  PM in Air Canada Centre to the very last buzzer, we’ll be keeping you up to date, as always, with all things Stars.

Records and Scores

Your Dallas Stars are wobbling back and forth between an okay and worse than okay season, with a 21-22-10 record. They wrapped up a 6 game homestand with a gutting defeat by the Blackhawks, which evened up their homestand record at 2-2-2.

The Maple Leafs are besting the Stars record wise, sitting at 24-17-10 , although the Stars have two games in hand. The Leafs are also coming off a disappointing loss, falling 6-5 in overtime to the Islanders on the road.

Storylines

Hot and then not.

Both teams here seem to be on that wild rollercoaster ride careening back and forth between great and awful. For the Leafs, they boast the highest home power play percentage in the NHL at 29.1, but also seem to have a leaky net lately. They’ve allowed 22 goals in their last 4 games, and Mike Babcock blamed the brunt of the failure against the Islanders on defensive errors around the net.

The Stars, too, can’t seem to find a good middle ground. Their last meeting with the Leafs resulted in a morale-boosting 6-3 home win, but Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks seemed to be that game’s evil twin.

With one of the worst road penalty kills in the league, the Stars are also having some intermittent net and defensive troubles, but seem to be finding their power play niche, with a PPG in 5 of their last 6 games. On top of that, Jamie Benn is on a roll with a 6 game points streak.

Texas hockey is do or die- for real

While it feels like we’ve truly moved on from do or die and have planted our flag firmly on die  terra firma, there’s still gotta be a shred of hope somewhere.

With each loss, the Stars find themselves slipping further and further from where they hoped they’d end up, but I would argue that it’s really not over until its over.

With 52 points, the Stars are in the bottom 4 of the entire NHL and are much further out of a playoff spot than they’d like to be. However, they have a decent record against teams in the East: 3-1-1 in the last 5. The Stars, more than anything right now, need to buckle down and make this roadtrip count and the best way to set that in motion is with a comfortable win in Toronto tonight.

Injury Report

The Dallas Stars are without the usual suspects with a new addition:  Jason Spezza (upper body), Johnny Oduya (lower body), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Mattias Janmark (knee) and Ales Hemsky (hip) are all on injured reserve.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, on the other hand, are all healthy and set.

Projected Lines

Dallas Stars

Jamie BennCody EakinPatrick Eaves

Antoine RousselTyler SeguinBrett Ritchie

Devin ShoreRadek FaksaPatrick Sharp

Curtis McKenzieAdam CracknellLauri Korpikoski

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg

Dan HamhuisPatrik Nemeth

Jordie BennStephen Johns

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

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Toronto Maple Leafs

Leo KomarovNazem KadriWilliam Nylander

James van RiemsdykTyler BozakMitch Marner

Zach HymanAuston MatthewsConnor Brown

Matt MartinBen SmithNikita Soshnikov

Morgan RiellyNikita Zaitsev

Jake GardinerConnor Carrick

Matt HunwickRoman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Prediction

Even though you can never quite be sure what the Stars are going to give you, I can never bet against them. Given the way they were able to dispatch the Leafs in their last contest, I have hopes that this game will help them find their groove again, and they will pull ahead in a 4-2 score.

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