DALLAS, TX -- The Dallas Stars are making a legitimate push towards the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Since starting the calendar year with six straight losses, the Stars have rebounded to a 12-5-3 record and currently hold down eighth spot in the Western Conference. More importantly, however, is the fact Dallas currently holds down the second of two wild card positions in the West.
If the team needs further motivation, they need not look further than teammate Rich Peverley, who is out for the remainder of the year and will undergo a procedure to deal with an irregular heartbeat after collapsing on the Stars’ bench in Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center.
Friday’s game against the Calgary Flames will be the first for the Stars since the incident.
This Season: 32-23-10, 74 points (8th in West)
Last Season: 22-22-4, 48 points (11th in West)
Notable Injuries: Goaltender Kari Lehtonen (concussion) is out; center Cody Eakin (lower body) is doubtful.
Flames Season Series Record: 0-2-0
Benn, who is second in goals (26), assists (36) and points (62) on the Stars this season, has been red hot of late and is currently riding a five-game point streak that has seen the 24-year-old amass three goals and eight points in that span. The Olympic gold medalist also has four goals and 12 points over his past eight games, too.
Nichushkin, drafted 10th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, has hit a bit of a lull in his rookie season in the NHL. After a strong start that saw the 18-year-old produce 13 goals and 29 points in 56 games, Nichushkin has gone without registering a point on the scoresheet since -- a span of six games.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Seguin has been everything and more that Dallas had hoped for when acquiring the former second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The 22-year-old has set the benchmark for the Stars with 29 goals, 38 assists and 67 points in 63 games this season. All three totals place him in the top-15 in NHL scoring, including a fourth overall nod in points.
Thomas, a trade deadline acquisition from the Florida Panthers, has had little time to acquaint himself with Dallas. Still, the 39-year-old has performed admirably, compiling a 1.56 goals against average and .944 save percentage in just two appearances for the Stars.
Goligoski, acquired by the Stars in the trade that sent both James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins four seasons ago, is piecing together one of his best years to date. The 28-year-old is just six points shy of matching his career best of 37 points set in 2009-10, while the Grand Rapids, MN native sits third in Stars coring.