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Stars-Canucks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (2-1-2) are coming off a 6-5 overtime loss to Philadelphia at American Airlines Center Saturday night. The Stars surrendered 4-2 and 5-4 third period leads in the game.

“We played stupid hockey. Lack of focus,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “Play like that, you deserve to lose.”

The Stars lost defenseman Patrik Nemeth to an arm laceration in Saturday’s game. Nemeth underwent surgery Sunday and Ruff said Monday that Nemeth will miss the rest of the regular season. Jamie Oleksiak is expected to take Nemeth’s spot in the lineup. The Stars also have recalled defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

The Stars will see some familiar faces behind the Vancouver bench on Tuesday, including former Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins who is now the head coach of the Canucks.

“They are off to a good start,” said Ruff. “I think that when you look at them, it starts with the Sedins up front. Obviously, [Ryan] Miller in goal, we got to see him late in the year with St. Louis. Willie’s there now. I think he’s got the team playing pretty well. They’ve got some depth. They’ve got some good speed up front.”

Tuesday’s game wraps up a two-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip), D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm laceration) are out.

About the Canucks

The Canucks (3-1-0) suffered their first loss of the season with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay Saturday. The Lightning snapped a 2-2 tie with a five-on-three power play goal in the second period to top the Canucks, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

"I thought we gave this game away," said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. "We showed on a back-to-back night we can play the best teams. We pushed hard to come back in the game but then we gave them a five-on-three and that's where I think the momentum changed."

Tuesday’s game kicks off a three-game road trip for the Canucks, who travel to Dallas, St. Louis and Colorado.

"These are going to be important kinds of games, so a good chance to come together, get on the road,” Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller told the team’s website Monday. “[Dallas] is a good, fast team, a lot of skill up front, the kind of team were we have to be patient, play a good system.”

Former Dallas Stars associate coach and Texas Stars head coach Willie Desjardins is in his first year as head coach of the Canucks. His assistants are former Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan and former Texas Stars assistant coach Doug Lidster.

Injuries: D Ryan Stanton (lower body) is out. F Bo Horvat (shoulder) is on a conditioning assignment with Utica of the AHL.

Series Notes

*This is the first of three meetings between the Stars and Canucks this season.

*The Stars were 3-0-0 (6 points) vs. Vancouver last season.

*The Canucks were 0-3-0 (0 points) vs. Dallas last season.

The Stars are 84-67-25 all-time vs. Vancouver.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are winless at home this season (0-0-2).

*Vancouver is 2-0-0 on the road.

*The Canucks are averaging 34.5 shots per game while allowing 26.5 per game.

*The Stars are averaging 27.6 shots per game while allowing 32.0 per game.

*The Stars are 4-15 (26.7 percent) on the power play.

*The Canucks are 4-19 (21.0 percent) on the power play.

*The Stars are 15-21 (71.4 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Canucks are 14-16 (87.5 percent) on the penalty kill.

*The Stars have won 46.5 percent of their faceoffs.

*The Canucks have won 46.4 percent of their faceoffs.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (4) and points (8).

*Radim Vrbata leads the Canucks in goals (3) and Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks in points (7).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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