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Preview: Stars at Predators

Dallas begins three-game road trip; Nashville looks to bounce back after loss Saturday

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (22-24-10) at PREDATORS (26-21-8)

6 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, FS-SW, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 

Stars team scope

The Dallas Stars will begin a three-game Central Division road trip against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday. The Stars got a 5-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Forward Patrick Eaves, who scored twice, leads the Stars with 21 goals. "It goes to the players I play with," Eaves said after the game. "I'm very fortunate every night to be put out there with great players. I'm getting good looks on the power play and some bounces. My linemates have been awesome all year, and it's a testament to that." Forward Jason Spezza, who has missed four games with an upper-body injury, traveled to Nashville. The Stars are 2-1-0 against the Predators this season, including 1-1-0 at Bridgestone Arena.

 

Predators team scope

The Predators will look for a better effort against the Stars after coach Peter Laviolette said they showed "no passion" in a 7-4 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday. " The Predators are thankful to have back-to-back games to try to get a win before they go on their five-day break. "I think it's best-case scenario really after coming off of last night," defenseman Matt Irwin said. "We're all very disappointed in our effort. Got to put that behind us now and look forward to tonight. That's the bonus of playing this back-to-back." The Predators (60 points) enter Sunday holding the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, and lead the Stars by six points in the standings. "We should be emptying the tank every night, breaks or no breaks," Laviolette said. "We're not in a position to be cruising. Every game is important right now. We need to approach every game with a mindset that at the end of the night, the tank is empty."

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Cody Eakin -- Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel -- Radek Faksa -- Tyler Seguin

Lauri Korpikoski -- Devin Shore -- Patrick Sharp

Curtis McKenzie -- Adam Cracknell -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Jordie Benn

Jamie Oleksiak -- Stephen Johns

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Jiri Hudler, Patrik Nemeth

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Johnny Oduya (ankle), Jason Spezza (upper body)

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Pontus Aberg -- Mike Fisher -- Craig Smith

Colin Wilson -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Cody McLeod -- Vernon Fiddler -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin -- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Brad Hunt, Colton Sissons

Injured: Miikka Salomaki (lower body), Harry Zolnierczyk (upper body)

 

Status report

Neither team had a morning skate. … Rinne was pulled against the Panthers in the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots and could start against the Stars.

 

Who's hot

Jamie Benn has seven goals and seven assists in his past 11 games. … Arvidsson scored his first career NHL hat trick against the Panthers and leads the Predators with 18 goals.  

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