The Stars come out for the first time against Nashville after having a very successful February so far. The Stars come in with a 7-4-0 record for the month and are facing Nashville in the first of a back-to-back away set (playing Columbus Tuesday). Nashville is still reeling from the 1-0 Vancouver loss and 4-0 Red Wings loss on back-to-back nights and are looking to get the train back on the tracks.
As previously stated, the Stars are making headway in the Western Conference with the 7-4-0 record in February. This has them tied point-wise with Phoenix and San Jose for the 7th and 8th spot in the West (Dallas has played one more game than both teams). The ageless wonder, Jaromir Jagr is pacing the Stars with 13 points (5G/8A) alongside Jamie Benn with 6 goals and 7 assists.
With Kari Lehtonen on IR, Christopher Nilstorp played an amazing game against the San Jose Sharks letting in only one goal against one of the most potent scoring lineups and getting his first win in the NHL. Look for Nilstorp to get the start against the Predators with Richard Bachman taking the start against the Columbus Blue Jackets the next night. Surprisingly, only 10 players on Dallas’ roster that have played this season are in the minus for +/- (Staphane Robidas leads Dallas with a +7).
The Predators, however, are in a tough spot after their last two contests. Not one goal has been scored and although the Vancouver game was only a 1-0 loss, the Detroit game was a complete embarrassment for the Predators at Joe Louis Arena. Colin Wilson continues to lead the Predators in points (14) and assists (9) and has Martin Erat right behind him with 10 points.
The strange thing about Martin Erat’s production has been his lack of defense this year. With a -4 rating and 22 penalty minutes (Erat had 30 PIM in 72 games last season), his game and the team are suffering whenever he gets put in the penalty box. Hopefully, Erat will get things turned around and continue his solid two-way play that makes him a staple in all on-ice situations.
Rinne will more than likely get the start to erase the bad taste of five goals in two games. Rinne is still one of the elite in the league, but getting lit up by Detroit on Saturday will have him ready to get back into the game-stealing zone Nashville fans have grown accustomed.
Dallas will be looking to make a statement on the first of back-to-back games and come out swinging. Nashville needs to right the ship and put pucks in the back of the net. Game time is at 7:00 P.M. and can be heard locally on 102.5 the Game and viewed nationally on NBC Sports Network. If tickets still remain, you can get a discount here.