The Dallas Stars open the 2007-08 season Wednesday at Colorado (8:30 pm CT, VERSUS, WBAP 820) and if history is a good barometer, the game has a decent chance of being a positive one for the boys from Texas.
The Stars are unbeaten, all-time, in season openers vs. the Avalanche, going 2-0-3 in five meetings and have had success in season openers held in Denver. Dallas rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win last year’s opener in Colorado, 3-2 in overtime. The Stars also skated to a 1-1 tie (remember those?) in the season opener in 2002. Dallas also tied Colorado 2-2 in the first game of 1997 in Denver. The Stars have also opened the season vs. the Avalanche in Dallas twice, going 1-0-1 in those games.
“This is a fun time of the year. Everyone loves to get the season started,” said Stars forward Stu Barnes. “It’s been a long off-season and training camp is over now and it’s time to play the games that count. We want to get off to a good start and that begins on Wednesday in Colorado.”
Since moving to Texas in 1993, the Stars have gone 8-1-4 in their 13 season-opening games. In 1993-94, the team won their first-ever game as the Dallas Stars, defeating Detroit 6-4. The team is 7-0-3 in its last 10 season openers. Dallas’ 10-game unbeaten streak is the longest active streak and ties for the third longest unbeaten streak on opening night in NHL history. The Montreal Canadiens hold that record going unbeaten in 17 straight openers (13-0-4) from 1963 - 1979.
|Fast Facts about Stars Season Openers |
|ALL-TIME OPENING NIGHT RECORD: ||15-14-10 |
|ALL-TIME OPENING NIGHT RECORD, HOME: ||11-7-2 |
|ALL-TIME OPENING NIGHT RECORD, ROAD: ||4-7-8 |
|MOST GOALS, OPENING NIGHT: ||9, Oct. 11, 1980 at HFD (9-3) |
|MOST GOALS ALLOWED, OPENING NIGHT: ||8, Oct. 6, 1988 vs. STL (3-8) |
|MOST GOALS, BOTH TEAMS, OPENING NIGHT: ||12, Oct. 10, 1985 at DET (6-6), Oct. 7, 1996 at WPG (5-7) |
|FEWEST GOALS, OPENING NIGHT: ||0, Oct. 11, 1984 at TOR (0-1); Oct. 7, 1972 at MTL (0-3) |
|FEWEST GOALS ALLOWED, OPENING NIGHT: ||0, Oct. 11, 1969 vs. PHI (4-0) |
|FEWEST GOALS, BOTH TEAMS, OPENING NIGHT: ||1, Oct. 11, 1984 vs. TOR (0-1) |
|LARGEST OPENING DAY MARGIN OF VICTORY: ||6, Oct. 11, 1980 vs. HFD (9-3) |
|LARGEST OPENING DAY MARGIN OF DEFEAT: ||5, Oct. 6, 1988 vs. STL (3-8) |
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TWO OF THE BEST TEAMS OVER THE PAST 10 SEASONS
The Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche have been two of the most consistent teams in the league over the past 10 seasons and the two teams will face-off Wednesday in their season openers. Dallas has the second-best regular season record in the entire NHL since 1996-97 with a 465-233-122 record while the Avalanche come in ranked fifth with a record of 440-252-128. Detroit is ranked first in that same time span while New Jersey comes in at number three.
MODANO SETS HIS SIGHTS ON U.S. BORN SCORING RECORD
Center Mike Modano enters the 2007-08 season just six points away from tying Phil Housley for the all-time U.S. born points lead. Modano became the all-time U.S. born goals leader on Mar. 17, 2007 at Nashville. Modano has 1,226 points and there is a good chance he’ll add to that total on Wednesday night. Mo has recorded nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in season openers. The 21 points ranks tied for third among active NHL players. Jaromir Jagr leads all active players with 28 (9-19-28), while Joe Sakic of Colorado ranks second with 26 points (11-15-26).
TURCO LOOKS TO MOVE UP ON GAMES PLAYED LIST
Goaltender Marty Turco already holds the franchise records for wins (175) and shutouts (30). He is now looking to move up on the games played list for goalies. Turco currently ranks fourth, playing in 320 games for Dallas, five games behind Jon Casey’s 325. Next at position number two is Gilles Meloche at 328 games. Turco will have to wait at least another season to claim the top spot held by Cesare Maniago with 420 games played in goal.
“It’s been a long camp and a long off-season. I think this team is hungry and guys are ready to get the season going,” said Turco. “Defense and team play are big key for us and I think we’re up to the challenge. It’s always great to play in Colorado and there have been some great games. I don’t think it will be any different on Wednesday night on National TV. It’s exciting.”
LESSARD ASSIGNED TO IOWA
Right wing Junior Lessard cleared waivers and was assigned to the Iowa Stars on Tuesday. The move puts Dallas at 23 active players with Mike Ribeiro and Niklas Grossman on the injured reserve list. Head Coach Dave Tippett said on Tuesday that Ribeiro should be back in about a week (ankle) and Grossman is day-to-day (shoulder).
One of the players who made the club out of training camp is defenseman Matt Niskanen.
“He’s played himself into the line-up with the injury to Grossman,” said Tippett. “He has great poise with the puck and he seems like a mature player. It is good to get the exhibition season behind him and I think he has an idea of what to expect (in NHL games). He’s played well and this will be a good experience for him.”
Dallas’ home opener is this Friday, Oct. 5 vs. the Boston Bruins. Good seats still remain. Click here to get your seats now!