This is the second meeting between the Stars and the Ducks and the first game was one to remember. The Stars rallied from three down to score four goals in the final ten minutes of the second period. As great as that game was, let’s hope that Dallas doesn’t have to perform another heroic comeback. The Ducks are still missing key pieces in their lineup and have since slowed down from their strong start. Dallas isn’t any different. The Stars started out 3-1-0 in their first four games. They have gone 1-3-0 in their last four. Tuesday’s game against the Kings was exactly what Dallas needed to get them back on track though.
With the possible continued absence of Alexander Radulov, the Stars will look to their depth once again. Tyler Pitlick has been playing on the first line with Benn and Seguin and has done well in temporarily replacing Radulov. Although Pitlick is a grinder and plays excellent defense, he doesn’t have that offensive skill that Radulov provides. This is a time where Dallas needs Jason Spezza to stay hot. He already has seven points in eight games so far. Spezza only had five points in the first 15 games last season. The Stars will be looking for Spezza to continue this pace, and hope other depth players can make an impact as well. A person to keep an eye on in this game is Tyler Seguin. Seguin has scored a goal against every NHL team except for the Anaheim Ducks. So expect Seguin to be blasting as many one-timers as he possibly can.
Last game against the Kings, the Stars decided to go with eleven forwards and seven defencemen. This decision worked in the Stars favor. So now it’ll be interesting to see how Monty shifts the lines around against Anaheim. It was also refreshing to see Connor Carrick back in the lineup. Surprisingly Carrick is the second highest-scoring defencemen for the Stars, right behind John Klingberg. Both Carrick and Klingberg scored in the last game against the Ducks, and the Stars might need them to step up again. Another defenseman that may be pivotal for the Stars, is Esa Lindell. His offensive talent leads to many odd-man rushes, and although they don’t show up in the point column, he is responsible for a good portion of the Stars offense. Look for these three defensemen to possibly have another big game against the Ducks.
Last time these two teams faced off, the Ducks John Gibson looked impenetrable. Then Dallas absolutely dominated puck possession and peppered Gibson for over 40 shots in the first two periods. The Stars Anton Khudobin held his ground and has been pretty solid backup this year and could get the nod against the Ducks once again. However, Bishop has been outstanding as well and looks completely dialed in this year. At this point, it doesn’t matter which netminder starts because they both look confident and make the appropriate saves when needed. For the first time in a while, it actually surprises Stars fans when opponents score. Having elite goaltending has been a big problem for Dallas and thankfully both Bishop and Khudobin have ended that.
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