The Dallas Stars will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in Scotiabank Arena tonight for the first time, their second meeting, this year. The Stars did not exactly fair well against Toronto in their first meeting, but the Leafs will be missing an integral part of their offense; Auston Matthews. Combine this with the fact that William Nylander also remains unsigned, and Stars fans can regain some confidence in a team that seems to have the pendulum swinging back in their favor with three wins and one loss in their last four games.
The Leafs haven’t played since Monday, so they’ll likely be looking to start Frederick Anderson in net. The Stars will be going with Anton Khudobin this evening. Dobby is averaging a 3.03 GAA and an .898 save percentage. He has two wins and one loss under his belt this year. His NHL career save percentage average is .915%, so expect him to be strong tonight.
The Stars are hoping veteran leader, Jason Spezza, can continue his stellar play, leading to his best production in a long time. He was minus one with no points in their first meeting this year against Toronto, but look for him to bounce back, after being held scoreless the last two games. The Stars will need him producing, to beat a team of Toronto’s caliber. He has six points in the Stars six wins this year with a +2 rating. In games the five games the Stars have lost, he only has two points with a -4 plus minus.
First game of the year against Toronto was a 7-4 loss, seating 17,866 attendants in the American Airlines Center. Dallas won 31/59 faceoffs, outshot the Leafs 34 to 30, and out hit them 23 to 12.
Mitch Marner and John Tavares were the first and third Stars of the Game respectively, combining for three goals and three assists. After a quick goal by John Klingberg to start the 3rd period making the game 5-4 in Toronto’s favor, it appeared as though Dallas may be able to come back. However, John Tavares quickly responded, and Connor Brown scored the final goal of the game to round down the remaining time. Tyler Seguin exploded for a four-point night, with one goal and three assists, earning himself the second star of the game.
Stars’ players Connor Carrick and Alexander Radulov did not practice on Wednesday, both out with lower body injuries. Stephen Johns is making headway in practice, but does not look like he will be back ready to play quite yet. Auston Matthews is ruled out for four weeks, but it was determined October 30th that he will not need surgery.
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