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Stars-Predators Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators

Thursday January 8, 2015
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (18-15-6) lost 4-2 to Columbus at American Airlines Center. The Stars were down 2-0 after one period and 3-0 by early in the second. The Stars made a game of it after that but could never catch up.

“I thought we got off to a real poor start,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We weren't ready to play. Taking three penalties in the first, that hurt us. After that, we were the team that dominated possession.”

Despite the second straight loss (0-1-1), the Stars still have a 8-2-1 mark in their last 11 games. They are five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Forward Shawn Horcoff, who missed the past four games due to illness, will return to the lineup Thursday night.

Thursday’s games kick off a two-game road trip for the Stars. Several players will have their dads on the trip.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Predators

The Predators (26-9-4) won 3-2 over Carolina in Nashville Tuesday. Defenseman Roman Josi scored with 4:43 remaining to snap a 2-2 tie and push the Predators’ point streak to six games (4-0-2).

"Every game is tough in this league, and if you don't play your best, you're not going to like the result," Josi told the Tennessean. "We didn't play our best in the first, but the team showed great character as the game went on, and it was a good thing we got the two points."

The Predators, who lead the Central Division and are two points behind Anaheim for the top spot in the West, improved to 7-1-2 over their past ten games.

Thursday’s game is the second of a two-game homestand for Nashville.

Injuries: D Anton Volchenkov (lower body), LW Taylor Beck (illness) and LW James Neal (lower body) are questionable. C Matt Cullen (upper body) is out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 0-2-0 in the season series.

*Oct. 11, at Nashville: Predators 4, Stars 1

*November 6, at Dallas: Predators 3, Stars 2

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-1-0 in their last five road games and 9-7-1 on the season.

*The Predators are 11-1-0 in their last 12 games at home and 15-2-1 for the season.

*The Stars are 2-7-4 vs. the Central Division.

*The Predators are 10-3-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Predators rank second in the league in goals against (2.23 per game) but have given up 28 over the past nine games (3.1 per game).

*The Stars have scored 26 goals over the past six games (4.3 per game).

*Nashville has scored 38 goals over its past nine games (4.2 per game).

*The Predators are 7-22 (31.8 percent) on the power play over the past six games.

*The Stars have allowed a power play goal in seven of the past eight games and are 20-27 (74.1 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin leads the NHL with 26 goals and ranks second with 47 points.

*Predators forward Filip Forsberg leads all NHL rookies in goals (14), assists (24) and points (38).

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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