Stars-Predators Preview

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Friday April 12
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars won their third straight game, defeating Los Angeles 5-1 at American Airlines Center Tuesday night. The Stars and Kings were tied 1-1 heading into the third, but the Stars rattled off four unanswered goals to win the game.

The Stars enter Friday’s game in tenth place in the Western Conference, three points out of eighth place. Detroit, which holds the eighth spot, plays in Chicago Friday. Phoenix, which is ninth place and is one point ahead of the Stars, plays at Calgary.

“I think it is going to come down to one or two points or, if not, the final day,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Lots of teams are battling, lots of teams are still in it, and it’s going to be an interesting finish here.”

Friday’s game is the first of a back-to-back set for the Stars, who host San Jose on Saturday.

Kari Lehtonen, who left Tuesday’s game with a groin injury, practiced on Thursday. He is day-to-day. If Lehtonen doesn’t play Friday, then Richard Bachman will start.

Injuries: G Kari Lehtonen (groin) is questionable. LW Lane MacDermid (chest) is out.

About the Predators

The Predators (15-18-8) lost 1-0 to St. Louis in Nashville on Tuesday. It was the fourth straight loss for the Predators who, barring a miracle, will miss the playoffs for just the second time in the last nine seasons.

“It’s really unusual because usually we’re getting in (to the playoffs) or getting a solid seed or right there in that pile of teams trying to get in at the end — so it’s totally different, totally different,” Predators coach Barry Trotz told The Tennessean. “But you have to be a realist, too. We had some guys not play up to their capabilities for maybe the first half or even the first two thirds of the year and then we got hit with a lot of injuries.”

The Predators announced Thursday that forwards Paul Gaustad, Colin Wilson and Gabriel Bourque would all be having season-ending surgery.

Injuries: C Mike Fisher (hand), C Paul Gaustad (shoulder), C Colin Wilson (shoulder), LW Gabriel Bourque (knee) and RW Brandon Yip (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Predators this season.

*The Predators are 2-0-0 in the season series and the Stars are 0-1-1.

*February 25, Dallas at Nashville: Predators 5, Stars 4 (OT)
*March 12, Nashville at Dallas: Predators 4, Stars 0

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 13-6 during their three-game winning streak.

*The Stars have won their last two games despite giving up the first goal of the game. Prior to that, they had won only three of 16 games when giving up the first goal (3-12-1).

*The Predators have been shutout in three of their last seven games and have scored a total of nine goals during that stretch.

*Nashville is 1-22 (4.5%) on the power play over the last nine games.

*The Stars are 0-17 on the power play over the last five games.

*Stars forward Vernon Fiddler has points in four straight games (two goals, five assists).

*Stars forward Alex Chiasson has points in three straight games (three goals, one assist).

Statistical matchup

Category Stars Predators
Record 19-17-3 15-18-8
Home 9-9-2 10-6-4
Away 10-8-1 5-12-4
Last 5 3-2-0 1-4-0
Last 10 6-4-0 3-5-2
Streak Won 3 Lost 4
Goals/game 2.74 (11th) 2.29 (29th)
Goals against/game 3.00 (25th) 2.54 (15th)
5-on-5  F/A 0.99 (16th) 0.98 (17th)
Power play 17.0 (19th) 17.2 (18th)
Penalty kill 81.9 (16th) 77.7 (26th)
Shots/game 27.0 (27th) 25.7 (30th)
Shots against/game 30.8 (22nd) 27.5 (6th)
Faceoffs 47.9 (24th) 50.5 (14th)
Team Leaders Stars Predators
Goals Eriksson: 10 Legwand, Bourque: 11
Assists: Goligoski: 20 Weber: 15
Points: Benn: 27 Legwand, Weber: 23
Goaltenders Lehtonen: 14-11-2, 2.67, .916
Bachman: 4-3-0, 3.72, .860
Nilstorp, 1-3-1, 3.09, .897
Rinne: 14-14-7, 2.29, .916
Mason: 1-4-1, 3.54, .866

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