Game 59: Carolina Hurricanes @ Dallas Stars
7:30 p.m. CT, February 27, 2014
American Airlines Center; Dallas, Texas
Hurricanes (26-23-9, 61 pts)
While tonight might be the post-Olympic game for the Stars, the Hurricanes have already played (and lost) in their first game back.
Carolina’s 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday was significant as it was Cam Ward’s first game back from injury as well. He hadn’t started a game since December due to a lower-body injury. He didn’t play very well in his first game as he allowed three goals on just 18 shots.
For the Canes, it’s the usual suspects to watch out for on the ice. Eric Staal leads the team in points (46) and assists (31) while Jeff Skinner leads the team with 23 goals.
Carolina has been horrid with their road power play, going 0 for 17 in their last six road games. As bad as it is, the Stars can’t be giving them too many chances.
Carolina is quite healthy at the moment. Only Joni Pitkanen is out for the season with a broken foot.
Tlusty – E. Staal – Semin
Skinner – J. Staal – Dwyer
Gerbe – Malhotra – Ruutu
Bowman – Nash – Lindholm
Faulk – Sekara
Liles – Hainsey
Bellemore – Harrison
Goalie – Cam Ward
Stars (27-21-10, 64 pts)
The Olympic break might have come at a bad time for the Stars. They had been on a roll, going 6-1-2 in the two weeks before the break.
The defense had been playing at its best all season and Kari Lehtonen was looking his absolute best again.
The team now comes back hoping they can retain that hot streak in their first game back. Lehtonen got some good work in during the Olympics, and Jamie Benn was one of Canada’s best forwards in the tournament.
He’ll look to quickly rekindle chemistry with a red-hot Tyler Seguin (11 points in eight games) and a possibly pissed-off and ready to explode Val Nichushkin.
The Stars are pretty healthy aside from the injury to Robidas. Robidas has been skating a bit though, and there’s a chance he could be back this season.
Jamie Benn – Seguin – Nichushkin
Peverley – Eakin – Cole
Roussel – Fiddler – Garbutt
Whitney – Horcoff – Chiasson
Goligoski – Daley
Jordie Benn – Dillon
Connauton – Gonchar
Goalie – Kari Lehtonen