CALGARY, AB -- Finishing a disappointing 11th in the Western Conference a year ago, the Dallas Stars are poised to push for a playoff spot after several key moves in the offseason.
The Stars acquired much-debated forward Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins and added piece-players Shawn Horcoff, Sergei Gonchar and Rich Peverley. How the team comes together under new GM Jim Nill remains to be seen, but there is cause of optimism in Dallas.
That hope hasn’t translated to wins just yet for Dallas; however, who have dropped back-to-back games and are just 3-5-0 this season -- last in the Central Division.
Last Season: 22-22-4, 48 points (11th in West)
Notable Additions: C Tyler Seguin, C Shawn Horcoff, C Rich Peverley, D Sergei Gonchar, G Dan Ellis, C Chris Mueller
Notable Subtractions: LW Loui Eriksson, LW Eric Nystrom, D Philip Larsen, RW Matt Fraser, C Tom Wandell
Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-0
Though he’s been held without a goal in his past four games, Benn’s point streak hasn't been halted. The 24-year-old Stars captain has five assists in his previous four outings and now has one goal and nine points in eight games this season. He has six goals and 11 points in 14 career games against the Flames.
Signed as a free agent to a two-year, $10-million pact in the offseason, Gonchar’s impact hasn’t been as immediate as the Stars would’ve liked. The 39-year-old has just one point -- an assist -- through eight games and is a minus-6. The offensively gifted rearguard will try to jump-start that against Calgary, a team he's recorded seven goals and 13 points in 20 career games against.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Though Seguin saw his consecutive points streak snapped Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks, the 21-year-old former second overall pick still leads the Stars in goals (4) and points (10). He’s played just two games in his young career against the Flames, scoring twice and adding an assist.
Chiasson, 23, has picked up right where he left off in his audition with the Stars last season. A year ago, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound winger scored six times in seven games in April to close out his 2012-13 campaign. This season, Chiasson has been equally impressive with three goals and six points in eight games.
The 18-year-old Nichushkin hasn’t had the start to his NHL career he’d have hoped, recording just one assist and a minus-3 rating in seven contests with Dallas. The 10th overall pick from June’s draft is averaging 13:25 of ice time through the seven games he’s played.