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Morning Skate: Stars Look to Keep Improving in Home Opener vs Nashville

The Dallas Stars will run it back and take on the Nashville Predators again on Saturday, this time on their home ice for the first time in 2022-23.



After an impressive opening victory in Nashville, the Dallas Stars are back to work, this time on their home ice for the first time in 2022-23. A lot will look the same Saturday, as Dallas rolls out the same lineup against the same opponent. But while the opponent is the same, the Stars know they need to be better than they were in their 4-1 win on Thursday. 

“We looked at it yesterday,” Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. “We want to keep the things we did well in Nashville. That was a tough road win, we did a lot of good things as a group. But it’s early in the season and we still have lots of things that we can improve at. We touched on all those things yesterday and we are just trying to keep building on the foundation here.” 

Home openers come with their own set of distractions. While it is an exciting time and a special night for everyone involved, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the celebrations and lose sight of the main goal, playing a hockey game against a division rival. 

“There’s a lot of distractions with home openers,” DeBoer said. “Sometimes, you have to make sure you are managing that. We’ve got a veteran group, we’ve been through it, but it’s not an easy day.” 

The Stars hold an 18-9-2-3 (W-L-T-OTL) record when it comes to home openers in their franchise history. A .641 win percentage is a healthy one and having veteran guys that have been through it should be a huge boost. 

The key tonight will be to maintain the high pressure that we saw on Thursday. Something that past Dallas teams have not done is dictate the pace and play the ‘in your face’ type of game that forces teams to make mistakes. 

Under Rick Bowness, it felt like the team waited for the opponent to make the first move before firing a counterstrike. But after game one of the new system under DeBoer, it is clear this team will look a lot different. 

“We do want to be aggressive when we can on those trigger moments,” DeBoer said. “We want to be real aggressive. I thought it paid off last night [Thursday].” 

Stars Projected Lines:

  • Robertson-Hintz-Pavelski
  • Marchment-Seguin-Dellandrea
  • Benn-Johnston-Gurianov
  • Kiviranta-Faksa-Glendening
  • Heiskanen-Miller
  • Suter-Hakanpaa
  • Lindell-Lundkvist
  • Oettinger
  • Wedgewood

Predators Scouting Report

Nashville should be motivated after being mostly dominated in their home opener against Dallas on Thursday. The jet lag from Europe should be gone and this is likely going to be a much more heated rivalry game than we saw in Music City. 

“I think they are going to push back and play better than they did in game one, and we have to be prepared for that,” DeBoer said.

Nino Niederreiter still leads all Predators with three goals and shares the point lead with Eeli Tolvanen. Juuse Saros is expected to start again for Nashville. 

Sam's Keys:

  • Don't get caught up in the home opener celebration
  • Roll four lines early
  • Three or fewer penalties 

He Said It 

“I’m excited,” DeBoer said. “I have come in here for years as a visiting coach and always loved the atmosphere and the fans. This isn’t one of those quiet full rinks, this is a loud full rink. I’m just excited to get here and get through it.” 

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