The Stars are beginning a three-game road trip on Thursday with their first visit to the new Mullet Arena on the campus of Arizona State University. They will not be taking on the Sun Devils, however, but the rebuilding and remodeling Arizona Coyotes.
Dallas is coming off their sixth win of the season, a 5-2 dominant home performance against the Los Angeles Kings. They sit atop the Central Division standings, and the attitude around the room is a positive one.
“I think we’ve gotten off to a good start,” Joe Pavelski said. “We’re not chasing it like we have in the past. We have seen as a group, when our compete is at a really good level, we are a strong four-line team.
Playing at Mullet Arena is going to take some getting used to. The Yotes new home arena maxes out at around 4,600 attendees, far fewer than the normal NHL arena (~18,000). But the building is much closer to the city and has drawn some pretty loud crowds at both levels.
“It’s actually great for a hockey rink,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said about the name of the arena. “I’m excited about it. We’ve been going to Phoenix for a long time. I think the environment in that rink, despite its size, will get everyone excited. A full rink at 5,000 is better than an empty rink at 20,000 right now.”
One key for Dallas is going to be playing a better third period than they have this season. Over the first ten games, the Stars have dominated the first (10-4) and second periods (15-9). But in the third, things have gotten much tighter (9-8).
Note: The Stars have a 13-2-1 record in their last 16 contests against the Coyotes.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Mason Marchment – Tyler Seguin – Denis Gurianov
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
- Radek Faksa – Luke Glendening – Joel Kiviranta
- Miro Heiskanen – Colin Miller
- Ryan Suter – Nils Lundkvist
- Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
- Scott Wedgewood
- Matt Murray
**Jake Oettinger is expected to miss at least one week (retroactive to 10/31).
Coyotes: The Coyotes have struggled this season, with a 3-5-1 record that has them at the bottom of the division. But they recently went into Madison Square Garden and gave the Rangers a really good game and followed that up with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. So they are no pushover, either.
Clayton Keller leads the way for Arizona with 10 points.
Sam’s Three Keys
- Adjust to the atmosphere
- Keep the power play on track
- Play a better third period (outscored 9-8 in third periods this season)