Nashville Predators @ Dallas Stars Preview: Back from the Break

Jonathan Daniel

The Predators try to avoid losing their fifth straight game when they visit the Lone Star State for a date with the Stars.

The long holiday break is finally over for the Nashville Predators and the rest of the NHL. It was too long considering how the Preds have had to stew over the merciless beat down given to them at the hands of the Boston Bruins Monday night. Tonight, they play the first of back-to-back games when they visit the Dallas Stars for the first time as division rivals.

The Stats

Nashville Predators Dallas Stars
Record 16-17-4 22nd 18-12-6 15th
GF/Game 2.30 25th 2.86 9th
GA/Game 2.86 21st 2.86 21st
5-on-5 Close SF/60 29.2 17th 33.2 3rd
5-on-5 Close SA/60 28.2 13th 29.9 20th
Fenwick Close 49.30 17th 52.50 9th
5-on-5 Close Save % .908 27th .922 17th
5-on-4 GF/60 7.2 8th 3.9 29th
# of PP's/Gm 3.14 26th 3.58 8th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.6 18th 7.4 26th
# of PK's/Gm 3.27 14th 3.42 19th

The Dallas Stars

There hasn't been a big deal made about it, but the Stars are only three points behind Phoenix for the final Wild Card spot. It still remains to be seen whether or not they can keep pace in the playoff race, but head coach Lindy Ruff has gotten more out of his team so far than a lot of people might have expected. Considering their recent history and the acquisitions they made in order to be better longterm, being in the conversation should give fans in Dallas some warm, fuzzy feelings. Both now and for their future.

This game is the first of a three-game home stand for Dallas, who has played majority of its games on the road so far. They have on 11-8-2 in 21 games away from American Airlines Center, and are 7-4-4 in just 15 games in Texas. Curiously enough, the Stars' power play (which is operating at a dreadful 11.6% this year) is even worse in their own barn. Like, way worse. Dallas has only scored two power play goals in 55 attempts at the AAC, which is good for 3.6%. Yowza. If they want to be taken serious as a Wild Card contender, they need to do something about that. You know, after tonight.

The Nashville Predators

My hope for you is that you used the break to somehow Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind yourself from the events that transpired on Monday. I didn't have a lot to say about the team then, and I don't now. If you missed it, (you lucky jerk) Craig Smith took over the team goal scoring lead with his two power play markers. The Pride of Madison is on pace to shatter all of his previous scoring records, assuming he plays most of the remaining games. There are many of you that owe him an apology from all the mean things you said about him this summer.


Craig Smith

#15 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators

6-1

202

Sep 05, 1989



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2013 - Craig Smith 34 10 11 21 -1 12 4 0 2 92 10.9

The return of your favorite hockey team is coming at 7:30 CST this evening on FS-TN. Because I jinxed them, how many PPGs are the Predators going to give up tonight?

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