It’s still early in the season, but the Dallas Stars see the next two games as big ones. They take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at American Airlines Center and then host the St. Louis Blues Saturday night.
Every game is big, especially in a compressed schedule where every game is within the conference, but the next two contests will show how the Stars stack up against top teams.
“I think this week is more a test for us,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We’ve got two elite teams coming in here in St. Louis and Chicago and, not looking too far ahead, tonight is a big game.”
The Blackhawks are 3-0-0 so far this season, their best start since 1972-73. It will be a good measuring stick game.
“It’s a big game,” said Stars forward Loui Eriksson. “We can see where we are at.”
And it will be a good test for the Stars, who have been stingy on the defensive side of things. The Stars are allowing 1.67 goals against per game through the first three games and have surrendered just one five-on-five goal. The Blackhawks have been putting the puck in the net. They’ve scored 14 goals in three games (4.67 goals per game).
“They’re a good team. They like to score on the rush. We know they like turnovers and going the other way,” said Stars center Derek Roy. “They’ve got a good power play, so we have to stay out of the penalty box.”
Rome still out
Stars defenseman Aaron Rome, who has not played this season due to a groin injury, won’t go tonight against the Blackhawks.
With the Stars missing practice Wednesday due to travel problems in Detroit, Rome’s Stars debut will have to wait a couple days.
“He probably could have went tonight, but missing that day of practice it is probably better to just target Saturday,” Gulutzan said.
Stars projected lineup