The Dallas Stars look to crush some Leafs in their first game of November.
In the Stars’ last game, the team was able to claim their first road victory of the season against the Montreal Canadians. Road victories have been difficult to come by the last few seasons for the Stars, each game is a long fought battle, and tonight’s game is no acceptation.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently 2nd in the Eastern Atlantic division, one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, whom is in 1st. The Stars are sitting at 6th in the Western Central, 3 points behind the Chicago Blackhawks. The Maple Leafs have lost their number one goal scorer and points leader, Auston Matthews due to a shoulder injury. But to Tyler Seguin, it doesn’t netter if Matthews is there or not. After practice when Seguin spoke with media, radiating his confidence for tonight.
“You can see the depth of their team and organization, even without Matthews, looking at the squad over there tonight, they’re good down the middle and we gotta focus on taking away their speed.”
The Stars tonight will be switching up their lines, separating Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn once again. When asked about the re-separation of Benn and Seguin, Jim Montgomery said, “Last game I put them back together after a period, and it really didn’t seem to work so we’re going to separate them a little longer until we do find something.”
Benn will be put with Jason Spezza (in his 1,001 game) and Valeri Nichushkin. Seguin will center for Devin Shore and Mattias Janmark. The birthday boy, Tyler Pitlick, will play with Blake Comeau and Radek Faksa. The other line will be all Ontario natives: Brett Richie, Gemel Smith, and Jason Dickinson.
With the lines being this way, that means that Alexander Radulov will miss tonight’s game with the lower body injury, once again. Connor Carrick will also miss out, this would have been his first game against his former team. Stephen Johns still remains out of the line up but did practice with the team this morning in Toronto. Justin Dowling will be a healthy scratch tonight.
The defensive pairings will be the same as last game but the lines will change throughout the game. Esa Lindella and John Klingberg will start off the game, Marc Methot and Miro Heiskanen, and lastly, Julius Honka and Roman Polak (who will be making his return to the Scotiabank Arena as well). It’ll be imperative that the defense help out the goaltender as much as they can, along with slowing down the Leafs’ speedy young players.
Lastly, Anton Khudobin will be in goal tonight, giving Ben Bishop a rest. The two goal tenders will rotate back-and-forth for the remainder of this trip if all goes well. The key for Khudobin tonight will be to focus on keeping the pucks out and retaining his cool in the net. In the two games Khudobin has played in, he has allowed 6 goals on 59 shots.
Tonight’s game will be a battle for the Dallas Stars, but keeping their heads up and opening up more chances will be the key to this win. Confidence is a big part of this Stars’ season, these players are showing confidence in their play and if they can keep that going, it will make a world off difference as the season slogs onward! The game starts at 6 PM CT. Remember Stars’ fans: Be Loud, Wear Green, Go Stars!