Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils
Thursday, January 9
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
About the Stars
The Stars (20-15-7) are coming off a 7-3 loss at the New York Islanders on Monday. The Stars who had a 2-0 lead after the first period, were outscored 7-1 over the final 40 minutes, and were outshot 43-23 in the game.
“Probably the most disappointing [game] of the whole year,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We were outskated. We couldn't win on-on-one battles. They basically looked how we usually look. Their legs were better. Their energy level was better. Their puck management was better. That might have been our worst game of the year.”
The loss was the third straight in regulation for the Stars, who have dropped three consecutive games for the first time this season.
“It’s three in a row and we’ve got to stop it,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “It’s a must-win on [Thursday]. We need to find a way to get two points.”
Ruff shuffled his forward lines in Wednesday’s practice. Among the moves, Rich Peverley moved to the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Valeri Nichushkin, who had been playing on the top line, moved to a line with Erik Cole and Cody Eakin.
Injuries: D Aaron Rome (upper body) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.
About the Devils
The Devils (17-18-9) are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia on Monday. Michael Ryder scored a shorthanded goal with 30 seconds remaining to tie the game for the Devils, but Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn scored at 1:50 of overtime to win it for the Flyers. It was the third straight loss (0-2-1) for the Devils.
"It's kind of mind-boggling a little bit because we are better than what the results on the ice are," Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "What's the answer? I don't know. We're not playing bad hockey. I don't know if our depth is something to be questioned. It's just a matter of maybe a goalie making a save that you're not supposed to make, or you score a goal you're not supposed to get."
The Devils have been struggling to score lately, scoring just 13 goals over the last six games.
"I don't know if we have to come out desperate [against Dallas], but we have to come out and play our game," Devils forward Adam Henrique said. "I feel we're getting in on the forecheck and getting chances and creating turnovers. But we have to find a way to grab that second and third goal."
Cory Schneider will start in goal Thursday vs. the Stars.
Injuries: RW Damien Brunner (knee), LW Patrik Elias (upper body), C Jacob Josefson (illness), D Peter Harold (foot) and D Adam Larsson (lower body) are out.
*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Devils.
*The two teams did not play last season.
*The Stars and Devils last met Dec. 16, 2011 in New Jersey, where the Devils won, 6-3.
*The Stars are 50-39-9 all-time vs. the Devils.
*The Stars have allowed 18 goals over the last three games.
*The Devils have scored two goals or fewer in five of their last six games and in seven of their last nine.
*New Jersey ranks 26th in goal scoring at 2.34 per game.
*The Stars rank 25th in goals against at 3.02 per game.
*The Stars are 5-23 (21.8 percent) on the power play over the last five games.
*New Jersey ranks third in the league in penalty killing at 85.9 percent, and second at home at 90.9 percent.
*The Stars are 1-4-1 in their last six games against the Eastern Conference and are 6-6-1 vs. the East this season.
*The Devils are 3-8-4 vs. the Western Conference.
*Stars captain Jamie Benn has 9 points (6 goals, 3 assists) over the last 9 games.
*Devils forward Adam Henrique has 4 goals over the last 6 games.
*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (21) and points (41).
*Michael Ryder leads the Devils in goals (14) and Jaromir Jagr leads the Devils in points (35).
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 DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.