Stars (23-14-4) vs. Red Wings (10-28-3)
7:30 p.m., American Airlines Center
TV: FOX Sports Southwest; ESPN+
Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM
DALLAS -- The Stars emerge from a chaotic December that bled over into the Winter Classic and get a great chance to get their game back to normal. Dallas won its outdoor game Wednesday at the Cotton Bowl, held a normal practice Thursday, and will play the Red Wings tonight at American Airlines Center.
They then get four days before starting a four-game road trip, so winning this game would be nice.
Mix in the fact the Red Wings rank last in several categories and beat the Stars 4-3 on Oct. 6, and there is plenty of motivation to be focused tonight.
"They beat us before," Stars coach Rick Bowness said when asked about the Red Wings. "Something like that shows you that you better pay attention to details and you better be ready to execute, because they can burn you. They burned us."
Video: DET@DAL: Bowness discusses changes against Red Wings
The Stars are in an interesting place. They have won three games in a row, but in each game they have gotten behind and had to fight back. On one hand, that's a great sign and a tribute that this team can handle adversity. On the other, it's a sign that they have not yet become a consistent team under the rearranged coaching staff.
"We'd rather not stick with this theme, but we've been doing it," said forward Jason Dickinson. "You see the game in Florida, the game in Tampa, those are games that we were embarrassed with and are unacceptable.
"We know we can come back, but we don't want to make a habit of it."
Fedun steps in for injured Klingberg
John Klingberg is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, so Taylor Fedun will step in on defense.
That's not a big issue, despite the fact Klingberg has been so important. Klingberg was out six games earlier and the Stars went 5-0-1. Fedun on the season has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 23 games and has been a really good depth player this season.
The right-handed Fedun will even step in on the top pair with Esa Lindell to start the game, so we'll see if he plays more than the 13:53 he normally gets.
Video: VGK@DAL: Fedun snipes sharp wrist shot past Subban
Khudobin to start in net
Anton Khudobin should be in goal. He ranks fourth in the NHL in save percentage at .929 and sixth in goals against average at 2.29. He has not played the Red Wings much, going 1-2-0 in his career with a 4.05 GAA and .871 save percentage.
Corey Perry will likely get a suspension from the NHL for an elbowing penalty Wednesday. Joel Kiviranta has been called up from the AHL and is expected to make his NHL debut. Kiviranta has 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 33 games with Texas. The 23-year-old was signed as a free agent out of Finland last summer.
Video: DET@DAL: Kiviranta ready for NHL debut with Stars
By the numbers
That's the amount of games Detroit's Trevor Daley played in a Stars uniform, fourth-most in franchise history for a defenseman. In six games against Dallas, Daley has a goal and an assist.
The Red Wings rank last in record (10-28-3), goals for (2.17), goals against (3.80), save percentage (.884), shots for (28.3) and power-play goals against (33) on the season.
In 24 career games against the Red Wings, Alexander Radulov has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) and is plus-7 in that span.
Video: DET@DAL: Faksa, Stars getting back to normal indoors
He said it
"We're giving him a home game. It's been a while. He deserves it, man. That guy has competed and played his heart out for us. He deserves a home start for sure, so he's getting it."
-- Bowness on the decision to give Khudobin the start in net Friday
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Denis Gurianov - Roope Hintz - Joe Pavelski
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Joel Kiviranta
Esa Lindell - Taylor Fedun
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera - Roman Polak
Scratched: RW Corey Perry, C Justin Dowling
Injured: D John Klingberg (lower-body), D Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), C Martin Hanzal (back)
Don't miss your chance to see the Stars take on the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika, and listen to his podcast.