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StarPoints For 3/23 vs Nashville

by Olivia Kiespert / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars (31-27-14) @ Nashville Predators (42-26-5)
7:00PM CT - Bridgestone Arena
Television - KDFI Channel 27
Radio - Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket

1.)  The Stars and Predators are squaring off for the fourth and final time this season. Dallas is 1-1-1 against Nashville this year. The Stars lost the first game of the season 3-2 on Oct. 3 in a shootout, but rebounded with a 6-0 win two weeks later on Oct 14. Dallas dropped the only meeting in Nashville 4-2 on Oct. 31. The Stars are 8-12-1 all-time in Nashville, but lead the all-time series with the Predators 25-16-2, outscoring Nashville 111-86.

2.)  Tonight is the first game of a four-game road trip that will take the Stars to Nashville, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim. The trip will be no easy task for the Stars as the Predators, Sharks and Kings would all be in the post-season if the playoffs started today, and the Ducks are playing their best hockey of the season trying to grab a final playoff spot. However, the Stars have gained at least one point in six of the seven games they’ve played (3-1-3) on the road against these teams, something they will need to continue in effort to keep their playoff hopes alive.

3.)  Both Stars’ goaltenders Marty Turco and Kari Lehtonen have found great success in their careers against the Predators. Turco is 12-6-2 in 21 career appearances against Nashville, with two shutouts and a solid 1.89 goals-against average. He is 1-0-1 against the Predators this season with a sparkling 0.96 goals against. Lehtonen is a perfect 2-0-0 with a 2.40 goals against average against Nashville in his career. He has not yet played against the Predators this season.
4.)  James Neal has recorded at least one point in each game against the Predators this season, including a career-high three-assist night Oct. 14. He has collected six points (2g, 4a) in the season series, and has accumulated a total of eight points (2g, 6a) in just seven career games against Nashville. Neal is having an excellent second season for the Stars, registering a total of 49 points (25g, 24a) in 68 games. He is second on the team in goal scoring with 25 tallies, four of which have been game-winners (a team high).
5.)  One to watch for:  Netminder Pekka Rinne was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday, a week after he was named the league’s Third Star of the Week. He started off the season as backup to Dan Ellis, but Rinne’s solid play has earned him the starting role in Nashville. The Predators come in to tonight’s game on a six-game win streak, courtesy of Rinne. Over his last six games, Rinne has only allowed seven goals and has recorded three shutouts. Rinne is 1-0-0 in two career appearances against Dallas. He picked up the win, a 4-2 decision in Nashville, Oct. 31.

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