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Stars-Predators Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Thursday, December 31

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


The Stars (27-8-3) had a five-game points streak snapped with a 6-3 loss at Columbus Tuesday. The Blue Jackets scored 35 seconds into the game and had a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period. The Stars gave up six goals after allowing just seven in their previous five games.

"It was everything about our team defense,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “It was probably our worst on the year. We started off not defending. We had pockets of good defending. It was a team loss. Everybody was in on it.”

The loss was just the fourth in regulation over the past 22 games for the Stars (15-4-3).

Stars forward Ales Hemsky left Tuesday’s game after suffering a lower-body injury while blocking a shot. The Stars placed Hemsky on injured reserve Wednesday and recalled C Radek Faksa from Texas (AHL).

Injuries: F Ales Hemsky (lower body) is out.


The Predators (18-12-7) are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at St. Louis on Tuesday. Nashville scored twice late in the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit and force overtime, but St. Louis’ Alexander Steen scored the game-winner in the extra period.

“It's a huge character [point], especially against a team that defends so well,” said Predators captain Shea Weber. “This team, when they get a lead, it's so hard because they collapse and they block a lot of shots … so to get two late, that's a big deal for us here and to get one point in a division game is big.”

The Predators fell to 0-6 in 3-on-3 overtime. Nashville is 3-1-1 in its past five games.

Injuries: F Gabriel Bourque (upper body) is on injured reserve.


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

*The Stars were 2-2-1 (5 points) vs. Nashville last season.

*The Predators were 3-1-1 (7 points) vs. Dallas last season.


*The Stars and Washington Capitals are the only two NHL teams that have not lost consecutive games this season.

*The Stars are 6-2-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Predators are 4-5-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have won three straight at home and are 10-2-0 in their past 12 games at American Airlines Center.

*The Predators are 2-5-3 in their past ten games on the road.

*The Stars average 32.4 shots per game, tied for most in the league.

*The Predators allow 26.7 shots per game, second fewest in the league.

*The Stars rank third in the NHL on the power play (23.6 percent).

*The Predators rank sixth in the NHL on the power play (21.1 percent).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL in goal scoring (23) and ranks second in points (50).

*Stars center Tyler Seguin ranks fourth in goal scoring (21) and third in points (48).

*Forward James Neal leads Nashville in goal scoring (15) and defenseman Roman Josi leads the team in points (29).

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.

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