Anaheim Duck @ Dallas Stars
7:30 CT, Wednesday March 23
Here we go again, another game with gigantic consequences. Last game of a seven game home stand and this time, the Anaheim Ducks roll into town (is it okay that Mighty Ducks still rolls through my head?). The Stars will enter this game sitting in 9th place in the West, but tied in points (85) with Anaheim and Calgary for 8th. Dallas has gone 2-2-2 in the past 6 games in the home stand and absolutely needs to win game because they head out for a critical 5 game road trip after this, with 4 of those games coming against Pacific Division rivals.
The Ducks have had the Stars number this year, winning 3 of 4 meetings, although one was a shootout. Making things even tougher is the fact that Anaheim is currently one of the hottest teams in the league, going 8-2-0 in their last ten games riding the hot hand of Dan Ellis in the place of the injured Jonas Hiller.
Dallas’ injury woes continue as Nick Grossman has a sprained MCL (Jay Cutler injury anyone?) and will be out for while according to coach Mark Crawford. Karlis Skrastins to a lacerated thigh and it would be a surprise if he somehow made it back into the lineup so the Stars will call upon the services of Mark Fistric and 34-year-old Brad Lukowich, a two-time Stanley Cup winner. Fistric was great while Grossman was out a little earlier in the season but was a healthy scratch since Grossman came back.
Lukowich has been part of the Texas Stars all season and hasn’t played in the NHL since last year in Vancouver where he played 13 games. The status of Loui Eriksson is also uncertain although there is a possibility that he could come back tomorrow from his head injury.