Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils
Tuesday, Dec. 13: 6:00 PM CT
How to Watch: Bally Sports Southwest
The Dallas Stars finish a tough back-to-back Tuesday in Newark against the league-leading New Jersey Devils.
The Stars are coming off a heartbreaking last-minute regulation loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. Evgeni Malkin’s late goal deflated an otherwise excellent road game for Dallas, leaving them with nothing to show for it. Usually, the next game is a good one in that scenario.
Monday’s game in Pittsburgh serves as a blueprint for what the Stars will want to do against the Devils.
Dallas was able to shut down the Pens top players, kill off two of three power plays, and sustain pressure in the Pittsburgh end for a huge portion of the game. The biggest issue was that their zone time led to just one goal, which came in the first 19 seconds of the game.
"Pretty good road game for 19 and a half minutes. We made a mistake at the end there," Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. "Did a lot of good things, had chances to score some goals. Would have liked to give Oettinger a little offensive support, I think there were goals out there. We didn't execute. We had some 2-on-1s, things like that that could've changed the game. We had a solid road effort."
While scoring was very much a non-issue early in the season, it has started to become one for the Stars, but in a different way than expected. Dallas has scored three or more goals in four of their last six games. So they are scoring.
But, keep in mind: they needed three straight in the third period against Minnesota, they were shut out for the first time all season against Toronto, two of their four goals came in the first seven minutes against Ottawa, and the third goal against Detroit was the overtime winner.
So while the stats may show differently, Dallas is not producing nearly as easily as they were when they were at its best.
On the flip side, the Stars have plugged things up defensively over the past three games. They have allowed only three, two, and two goals in that span.
That will need to continue against a Devils team that can score goals and holds the second-best goal differential (+36) in the NHL.
Starting goaltender: While not yet confirmed, Scott Wedgewood is expected to start after Jake Oettinger played Monday in Pittsburgh. It will be the first start for Wedgewood since Nov. 28 and only his 10th of the season so far.
Wedgwood holds a 5-4-2 record and a .908 save percentage. He was excellent in his last appearance, stopping 14 of 15 shots in relief for Oettinger against the Wild.
As for the lineup, it is possible that Riley Tufte or Joel Hanley step into the lineup to give Dallas fresh legs on a back-to-back. However, the team performed well Monday and if they did choose to change things up, it seems like a toss up on who will come out.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Mason Marchment – Tyler Seguin – Denis Gurianov
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
- Joel Kiviranta/Riley Tufte – Radek Faksa – Luke Glendening
- Miro Heiskanen – Nils Lundkvist
- Ryan Suter/Joel Hanley – Colin Miller
- Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
- Scott Wedgewood
- Jake Oettinger
Devils Scouting Report
The Devils have cooled off in relation to their ridiculous 13-game winning streak from Oct. 25 to Nov. 17. But they are still a very good hockey club.
New Jersey is on a 6-2-2 streak in their last 10 and has been scoring some goals. On Monday, the Devils fell in overtime to the New York Rangers, meaning both teams will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Jack Hughes leads the Devils in all categories with 15 goals and 34 points while linemate Jesper Bratt (10 goals, 30 points) and captain Nico Hischier (13 goals, 29 points) have followed suit.