Dallas Stars @ Nashville Predators
Tuesday, Dec. 27: 7:00 PM CT
How to Watch: Bally Sports Southwest Extra
Welcome back from the Christmas break Stars fans! And welcome back the regular season for the Dallas Stars, as they travel to Music City Tuesday night to take on their Division Rival, Nashville Predators.
The Stars finished off pre-Christmas play with an impressive comeback victory (again) over the Montreal Canadiens on home ice.
Although things looked bleak through thirty minutes on Friday, Dallas rose three power-play goals to rattle off four straight, defeat the Habs 4-2 and send Stars fans home for the holidays with loads of good cheer.
“We had to scrape and scratch,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said Friday. “You’ve got to win all types of ways in this league. Tonight, it was our power play. It was a big two points.”
Now, the Stars are nearing the midway point of the season and things are continuing to go swimmingly.
Dallas enters play tonight with a three-point cushion on top of the Central Division standings. They hold an impressive 20-9-6 record, putting them among only five NHL teams that have lost fewer than 10 times in regulation all season (the other four are Eastern Conference clubs).
Pete DeBoer has been mixing up his lines rather regularly as of late, searching for the right combination beneath his dynamic top trio of Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, and Joe Pavelski. Although they have not found precise chemistry across the board, the team has found some scoring from up and down the lineup.
“The story of our team has been: the guys who are supposed to score have scored, and we’ve gotten some depth scoring,” DeBoer said. “When you get that and you have goaltenders like we have, you have a chance to win every night.”
Ahead of this two-game trip through Nashville and Minnesota, Dallas recalled forward Fredrik Olofsson from the Texas Stars. Forward Riley Tufte had played the previous three games in the absence of Denis Gurianov (personal reasons) but was sent back to the AHL on Friday night.
Olofsson, 26, is expected to make his NHL debut tonight in Nashville. The Swedish forward has recorded 12 points (4G, 8A) and a +11 rating in 28 games with Texas this season. He will wear number 42 for Dallas.
Starting goaltender: It will likely be Jake Oettinger in the net again for Dallas after the three-day break.
Oettinger has started the last three games for the Stars, going 2-1-0 with a combined .910 save percentage.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Joel Kiviranta – Ty Dellandrea – Tyler Seguin
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Mason Marchment
- Fredrik Olofsson – Radek Faksa – Luke Glendening
- Miro Heiskanen – Nils Lundkvist
- Ryan Suter – Colin Miller
- Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpää
- Jake Oettinger
- Scott Wedgewood
Predators Scouting Report
The Predators have been a disappointment this season. After overachieving and making the playoffs in 2021-22, Nashville has gone 14-13-5 and sits six points out of the final playoff spot in the West.
Matt Duchene and Roman Josi are tied atop the Preds scoring with 26 points, but the club has been kept alive by their elite goaltending duo of Kevin Lankinen and Juuse Saros. Their combined .920 save percentage has allowed Nashville to keep opponents off the board (tied with Dallas with 97 goals against), which is vitally important because they sit 31st with only 80 goals scored all season.
Season Record: The Stars took both of the opening games this season, defeating the Predators 4-1 in Nashville and 5-1 in Dallas.