Dallas Stars vs Ottawa Senators
7:30 PM CT
How to Watch: Bally Sports Southwest
The Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators meet on ‘Fiesta Night’ Thursday at the American Airlines Center.
In celebration of all Hispanic cultures, PNC Plaza will feature unique food vendors and the game will be broadcast in Spanish by Octavio Sequera and Pedro Silva on TUDN Radio Dallas (1270 AM).
On the ice, Dallas will face another Canadian team, albeit a far different one than they saw on Tuesday vs Toronto. Ottawa currently sits last in the Atlantic Division.
For the Stars, however, the focus is on improving their defensive game.
Over the last seven games, Dallas has allowed four or more goals five times. Despite the high-scoring games around the league lately, Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer is aware that this is an area they need to fix.
“Well, I say that, and then I look at the scores around the league, it’s 9-8 and I think we’re doing pretty good,” DeBoer joked.
“We’ve been a little soft around our own net,” DeBoer said on Wednesday. “The things that jump out at me: soft around the net and penalties. I think we’re starting to clean up the penalty problem, which obviously puts a lot of pressure on the goaltending. And the front of the net stuff is something that we’re talking about and spending time on.”
Often, those issues can center largely around goaltending.
Jake Oettinger has seen his numbers dip over the last couple of weeks. In his last four starts outside of his shutout against Anaheim, the 23-year-old has not reached a .900 save percentage and even dipped into the .700s against Minnesota.
But overall, Oettinger’s .916 save percentage ranks 12th in the NHL. So while he has not been lights out, he has still given Dallas pretty solid netminding and
DeBoer and his team know the importance of identifying poor defending versus poor goaltending.
“I thought Jake’s game was real good the other night,” DeBoer said. “He happened to play against Matt Murray, who absolutely stood on his head. We talked after the game, if Toronto gets average goaltending or even a little bit above, it’s probably a 4-4- game or we win 4-3 and you probably feel good about yourselves and your goaltending. But the goalie on the other end stands on his head, and you walk out and don’t feel good about it. I think you’ve got to be careful, I liked Jake’s last game, I want him to build on that.”
Starting goaltender: Jake Oettinger will make his 18th start. He is 9-3-3 this season.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Mason Marchment – Radek Faksa – Tyler Seguin
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
- Joel Kiviranta – Luke Glendening – Denis Gurianov
- Miro Heiskanen – Nils Lundkvist
- Ryan Suter – Colin Miller
- Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
- Jake Oettinger
- Scott Wedgewood
Senators Scouting Report
Ottawa was a bit of a mystery team coming into this season.
They looked to be in a full rebuild but then added huge pieces in Claude Giroux, Alex DeBrincat, and Cam Talbot. But once the season got going, the Sens began to fall in the standings and the look of a rebuild has returned.
Ottawa is an even 5-5-0 in their last 10 games and owns a 4-6-1 record away from home this season. Captain Brady Tkachuk (12 goals, 29 points) and Tim Stuztle (10 goals, 27 points) have been the most productive Sens while Claude Giroux has added 11 goals in 25 games.