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Scouting the Dallas Stars

The Flames would eventually take it in the shootout, winning 4-3.

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Since then, the Stars are 4-1-1 and sitting comfortably atop the NHL with 48 points. The Stars have only lost six games in regulation this season and have only lost two games in overtime, both in Alberta.

Not many teams have been able to find an answer for the Stars heavy offensive attack. Between Tyler Sequin (42 points), Jamie Benn (41 points), and John Klingberg (31 points), the Flames will have a tough task defensively.

To make things even harder, Dallas’ defence and goaltending has been quite good as well. The duo of Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen has a combined 2.50 GAA and .912 save percentage. Regardless of who gets the call, it will be a tough match-up for Calgary.

The Flames enter the American Airlines Center, a place where the Stars have only lost three times this season. The last time they lost at home was on Nov. 24 against the Ottawa Senators.

The Stars (23-6-2) are coming off a 5-1 win over Columbus at American Airlines Center on Tuesday. The Stars got off to a slow start in the first period but blew open a 1-1 game with three quick goals late in the second. Still, coach Lindy Ruff was not happy with the game, especially the first period when the Stars were dominated by the Blue Jackets, who had played the night before.

“I’m frustrated because we had a total lack of mental focus. I know we won 5-1, but we’ll lose games when we play like that,” Ruff said. “We’ve worked hard to get to where we’re at, and we’re on a bit of a roller coaster ride with how we’re playing right now. I have to straighten that out.”

Tyler Seguin scored two goals, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 34 of 35 shots in Tuesday’s win.

Dallas has won seven of its past eight games at home and is 6-1-2 in its past nine games overall.

Thursday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for the Stars.

Record: 23-6-2

2015 vs. the Flames: 0-0-1

All-Time vs. the Flames: 65-63-5

Vs. the Flames at the American Airlines Center: 40-24-3

Notable Injuries: N/A

Who’s HOT: Tyler Seguin

How can you not mention Tyler Seguin when talking about who’s hot right now? The 23-year old pivot has come alive this season and sits second in scoring behind only Patrick Kane. With 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points, Sequin is on pace to score 111 points this year. That would be a jump of almost 30 points from his previous high. With 12 of his points coming in the past 10 games, it’s fair to say that Tyler Seguin is red hot right now.

Honourable Mention: Jamie Benn

It’s hard to pick only one ‘Who’s HOT’ from the Stars team right now as they are firing on all cylinders. Benn playing on the same line as Seguin is almost unfair at the moment. Benn sits one point behind Seguin and is third in the NHL in scoring. He is also on pace to break the 100-point plateau with 108. He has matched Seguin with 12 points in his last 10 games.

Who’s NOT: Jason Spezza

On a team with only six losses, there really isn’t anyone who is seriously under-performing, but if there was one, it would be veteran centre Jason Spezza. With only four points in his last 10 games, the 32-year old has only 20 points (11g, 9a) through 31 games. Though his 11 goals are reasonable, his nine assists are alarming. Known for being a feeder, Spezza is on pace for 23 assists, well below his marks from the past two seasons of 62 and 66.

Statistical Analysis:

  • The Stars are 9-2-2 vs. the Western Conference including 6-0-2 vs. the Pacific Division.
  • The Flames are 6-8-1 vs. the Western Conference including 3-4-0 vs. the Central Division.
  • The Stars are 7-1-0 in their past eight games and 12-3-0 at home this season.
  • The Flames are 2-6-1 in their past nine road games and 4-9-2 away from home this season.
  • The Stars lead the NHL in goal scoring at 3.42 goals per game.
  • The Flames rank last in the NHL in goals against at 3.43 goals per game.
  • The Stars are 5-42 (11.9 percent) on the power play over their past 13 games.
  • The Flames are 2-44 (4.6 percent) on the power play over their past 13 games.
  • Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL with 20 goals.
  • Stars center Tyler Seguin ranks second in the NHL with 42 points.
  • Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau is tied for seventh in the NHL with 32 points.

Flames Scout:

The Flames (14-14-2) won their sixth straight game with a 2-1 overtime victory at Nashville on Tuesday. Kris Russell scored 1:23 into overtime for the Flames, who are 8-1 in 3-on-3 OT this season and 9-2 in games that have gone beyond regulation.

“That’s a big win for us after a pretty tough first period,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “That team works hard, and they really come. They skate. They were aggressive, I felt, all night. As the game went on, I thought we got better and better.”

Tuesday’s win snapped a four-game losing streak on the road for Calgary.

The Flames lost forward Michael Frolik to an upper-body injury during the game. He flew back to Calgary Wednesday and will miss the remainder of the team’s road trip.

Thursday’s game is the second of a four-game road trip for the Flames.

Injuries: F Michael Frolik (upper body) and F Lance Bouma (leg) are out.

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of Weliveforhockey.com
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