Stars look to improve road form in St.Louis.
The Dallas Stars (20-13-1) travel to the Scottrade Center tonight to take on the St.Louis Blues (20-10-4) in what should be a great contest as the Stars look to make the stop spot in the Pacific theirs with a win. Dallas will also be looking to record their 100th win against the Blues in NHL hockey.
The Stars come into the game following a comprehensive five goal to three victory over the tired Nashville Predators in Texas on Friday night, behind 34 saves by the very impressive rookie Richard Bachman. Despite the Stars main goaltender Kari Lehtonen's return being just around the corner after a groin injury, Bachman gets the start tonight as he looks to carry on his impressive start to his NHL career by recording his sixth win in nine successive starts. Lehtonen's last game was at the back end of November, however he is expected to be back for when the Stars entertain Columbus in Texas on Thursday.
With the Blues having the worst powerplay record in the league, the Stars penalty kill unit will certainly be looking to boost their confidence tonight having conceded several powerplay goals in the last few games. Crucially, the Stars are without Sheldon Souray (ankle) and Stephane Robidas (foot) tonight in the defensive unit, two of their most experienced and talented defensemen. Stepping up will most probably be Canadian Adam Pardy and Dane Philip Larsen who are both young defensemen making their way in the game.
The Blues, after beating Phoenix on Friday, go into the game without American T.J Oshie (wrist) but they will definitely fancy their chances tonight against a weakened defensive unit for the Stars. St.Louis currently occupy a playoff spot in the West with 20 wins and 44 points. Veteran Blues center Jason Arnott will line up against his former team tonight as he tries to help his team track down Chicago who top the East with 48 points.
It should be an intriguing encounter tonight between two teams who have had decent season so far. I have three keys to tonight’s game in Missouri; the Stars penalty kill against a very poor Blues powerplay, the Blues targeting a Dallas weakened defense with a rookie goaltender and how much impact the very impressive Stars' third line can have on the Blues defence who have been awesome this year.