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Stars look to bounce back in first exhibition road game

Dallas hopes to create more scoring chances against the Wild after being shutout in its preseason opener

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer
Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild

Tonight, 7 p.m. CT

Where: Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul, Minn.)

TV: FOX Sports Southwest PLUS; NHL Network

 

The skinny

Video: Stars aim to create more chances tonight against Wild

The Stars try to bounce back from a sloppy preseason opener at home Monday (a 2-0 loss to St. Louis) by traveling to Minnesota. The Wild will play a veteran-rich lineup, while Dallas will rely on a much younger group.

The Stars' top line has a ton of potential, as Roope Hintz will center Jason Dickinson and Denis Gurianov. Hintz, 22, and Dickinson, 24, were among the Stars' leading scorers in the playoffs last season, and Gurianov, 22, has a real chance to stick in the NHL this season while playing the past three seasons in the AHL.

Tye Felhaber and Ty Dellandrea will get a chance to play with more veteran players on their lines. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Miro Heiskanen will get his first game with veteran Andrej Sekera, who will play the right side.

 

[READ MORE: Felhaber sees preseason as time to shine with Stars]

 

Stars coach Jim Montgomery acknowledged the challenges the Stars face as they plow through four preseason games in six days in four different cities, but said his players need to make the most of it. Dallas cut down three players on Tuesday, but that still means 50-something players will be moving in and out of the lineup in hopes of making an impact.

And the coaches need to both assess and improve these players.

"Everybody is facing that same battle," Montgomery said. "I talked to the St. Louis coaches yesterday, and they've got three groups going and 62 players just like we do. That's just part of training camp."

 

What to watch

Video: Heiskanen looks to build off a strong offseason

The top line of Dickinson-Hintz-Gurianov will be exciting, because it shows the potential for the youth movement in Dallas and also shows how Montgomery's team might play when fast skaters are on the ice.

Likewise, seeing Miro Heiskanen and Andrej Sekera will be exciting, because the guess is that will be the team's second D-pair during the regular season.

Scottie Upshall gets his first preseason game as a professional tryout with the Stars, and he will be on a line with Stefan Noesen, who also is trying to make the team on a PTO. The fact both are on the same line should make for some interesting shifts.

And while this will bear watching tonight, it really will be assessed over the next four games.

The Stars' plan is to play Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin at home during the preseason. That means Landon Bow, Jake Oettinger and Colton Point will divide the load over the next four games - all on the road. Oettinger is getting his first real chance to play a full season in the AHL, while Bow will start his fourth pro campaign. The guess is they will battle for ice time in Cedar Park.

Point appears destined for the ECHL, but he could change some minds with a strong performance in the preseason.

 

By the numbers

Video: Dickinson looks to continue success from last season

.893

Landon Bow went 24-20-3 with the Texas Stars last season, recording a 2.89 GAA and .893 save percentage. He also played in two NHL games and stopped 18 of 19 shots in 58 minutes.

 

10

That's the amount of goals that were scored in 13 playoff games by the trio of Roope Hintz (five), Jason Dickinson (three) and Miro Heiskanen (two). Heiskanen averaged 25:31 in post-season ice time, while Hintz logged 16:06 and Dickinson 15:57.

 

30

That's the amount of goals scored by Joel L'Esperance in 54 games with the Texas Stars last season. He led Texas and tied for eighth in the AHL. L'Esperance, 24, signed as a free agent with the Stars and is in the mix to make the opening night roster.

 

He said it

Video: Dellandrea looks to keep impressing during preseason

"I'm just trying to worry about going out there and playing hard and keeping my game the way I can play and how I know I can play. I'm not trying to do anything different than I have in the past, other than just be myself and try to play the game. Try not to think too much about trying to impress, just trying to play a strong game." -- Stars forward Ty Dellandrea, 19, on finding the balance between impressing coaches and trying to stay relaxed.

 

Projected Stars lineup

Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz - Denis Gurianov

Tye Felhaber - Justin Dowling - Joel L'Esperance

Scottie Upshall - Tanner Kero - Stefan Noesen

Nick Caamano - Ty Dellandrea - Adam Mascherin

Miro Heiskanen - Andrej Sekera

Jamie Oleksiak - Taylor Fedun

Dillon Heatherington - Ben Gleason

Landon Bow

Colton Point

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.

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