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Stars-Predators Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators

Saturday, October 11, 2014
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (0-0-1) opened the season with a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago Thursday at American Airlines Center. The Stars dominated play through the first two periods, but Chicago tied the game with a power play goal in the third and then tallied the only goal in the shootout.

“I was impressed. They gave me all they had,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of team. “We basically dominated the game for the first forty (minutes). There was a little bit of fatigue in the third. I was hoping we could come out real strong and we did. I thought we came out strong defensively. We were strong defensively five-on-five the whole game, which really has been a focus. We were almost as high as any scoring chance game as we had all last year.”

The Stars and Blackhawks played a revved up game Thursday and Ruff expects to see some pace to Saturdays’ game with the Predators, who now are playing under coach Peter Laviolette.

“There’s been a lot of talk of them trying to be a better offensive team, playing a higher tempo game,” said Ruff. “I’ve been around Peter a lot and I know he pushes the pace when it comes to playing the offensive side of it. I think we are going to see a little more of that.”

Saturday’s game is the first of three straight on the road for the Stars.

Tyler Seguin (ill) missed Friday’s practice but is expected to play Saturday.

Injuries: D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) is out. C Rich Peverley (heart) is on injured non-roster status.

About the Predators

The Predators (1-0-0) opened the season with a 3-2 win over Ottawa in Nashville Thursday night, giving Peter Laviolette a victory in his first game as the team’s new head coach. The Predators, down 1-0 after one period, scored three times in the third period to take a 3-1 lead.

“Honestly, I’m happy for the guys, for the city and for the fans,” Laviolette said. “You want to come to your home opener and be successful for everybody’s sake. It’s a special night because it’s in our building and there are a lot of new players that were added. You talk to the fans and they’ve been waiting for a long time for this game to happen and wanting it to happen.”

Former Star Eric Nystrom scored the game-winning goal for the Predators. Former Stars James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy all made their Nashville debuts in the game. Roy had an assist on the Predators’ first goal and Neal registered a game-high seven shots on goal.

Injuries: C Matt Cullen (upper body), LW Viktor Stalberg (lower body) and C Mike Fisher (Achilles surgery) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of five meetings between the Stars and Predators this season.

*The Stars were 3-2-0 (six points) vs. Nashville last season.

*The Predators were 2-2-1 (five points) vs. Dallas last season.

*The Stars are 34-23-3 all-time vs. Predators.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars outshot Chicago 34-26 Thursday night. The Stars directed 73 shots at net, including those that missed and were blocked, to 68 for Chicago.

*Nashville outshot Ottawa 37-20 Thursday night. Nashville directed 72 shots at net to 43 for Ottawa.

*The Stars were 1-6 on the power play Thursday and 4-5 on the penalty kill.

*Nashville was 1-3 on the power play Thursday and 4-5 on the penalty kill.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 8-7-0 in his career vs. Nashville with a 2.33 goals against average and .916 save percentage.

*Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is 7-5-1 in his career vs. Dallas with a 2.76 goals against average and .897 save percentage.

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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