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Stars-Islanders Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

New York Islanders at Dallas Stars
Thursday, March 2
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (25-28-10) rallied for a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night at American Airlines Center. Brett Ritchie, Jason Spezza, and Antoine Roussel scored goals as the Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit after two periods.

"We haven't had that feeling enough this year," said Stars forward Brett Ritchie. "To take down a team like that, down two going into the third, it doesn't happen a lot. I don't know how many times it's happened this year to those guys, but it's probably not very often. That was a lot of fun for sure. It's a lot more fun, and we needed that."

The Stars have won three of their past four games overall and are 4-1-0 in their past five games at home.

Stars forward Ales Hemsky, who has been out since late October due to hip surgery, is expected to return Thursday.

"Ales Hemsky is projected to play on Thursday, we're hoping he plays Thursday, so we're getting him back," said Stars GM Jim Nill.

The Dallas debut of defenseman Greg Pateryn, who was acquired from Montreal on Monday, is still up in the air.

"He's a guy we feel needs to get in and play," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We'll see where he is. It's been a couple of busy days for him. There was no practice today. With us playing three games in five days, we decided off-ice would be the best." The Stars assigned F Remi Elie to Texas (AHL) Wednesday."

The Stars traded LW Lauri Korpikoski to Columbus for defenseman prospect Dillon Heatherington Wednesday.

Dallas assigned LW Remi Elie to Texas (AHL) Wednesday.

Thursday's game is the final of a five-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Ales Hemsky (hip) is probable. RW/C Adam Cracknell (lower body) and C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) are on injured reserve.

About the Islanders

The Islanders (29-22-10) are coming off a 7-0 loss at Columbus on Saturday. The Blue Jackets outshot the Islanders 17-9 in the first period while jumping out to a 3-0 lead.

"Clearly we were pretty off today," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "What was disappointing the most was not giving ourselves a chance the way we competed. It wasn't mistakes or poor execution. We made it so easy to play against."

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Islanders.

The Islanders recalled forward Josh Ho-Sang from the AHL on Wednesday. He is expected to make his NHL debut Thursday.

"It's been my dream to be here and to get on the ice," Ho-Sang said. "It's really exciting and I'm looking forward to playing."

Thursday's game is the fourth of nine straight on the road for the Islanders.

Injuries: F Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) and F Andrew Ladd (back) are day to day. F Alan Quine (upper body) is out. D Travis Hamonic (lower body), F Shane Prince (upper body), and F Casey Cizikas (upper body) are on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Islanders.

*The Islanders won the first meeting, 3-0, in Brooklyn on Jan. 19.

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 18-10-6 at home.

*The Islanders are 9-14-4 on the road.

*The Stars are 8-11-4 vs. the Eastern Conference including 4-5-3 against the Metropolitan Division.

*The Islanders are 11-5-3 vs. the Western Conference including 5-2-1 against the Central Division.

*The Stars have scored 32 goals over their past eight home games (4.0 per game).

*The Islanders have allowed seven goals in three of their past ten road games.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in 10 of their past 12 home games. 

*The Islanders are 2-16 on the power play in their past seven games overall.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in scoring with 61 points (22 goals, 39 assists).

*John Tavares leads the Islanders in scoring with 52 points (23 goals, 29 assists).

This story was not subject to 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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