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Dallas Struggling with Injuries, at Home

Thursday, 03.12.2009 / 11:17 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Dallas Struggling with Injuries, at Home
The Dallas Stars have been a tough team to figure out this season.

Paul Branecky
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They’ve had stretches where they weren’t very good at all, starting the season with a record of 8-11-4 through the end of November. They’ve also had stretches where they looked great, winning 10 times in a 14-game stretch in January and February.

As the Hurricanes find them tonight for their first and only meeting of the season, they’re in another down period. They’ve won only two of their last 10 games, and are fading fast from the Western Conference playoff race. If they lose to the Canes tonight, it will be their seventh straight at home, setting a new franchise record in that department. 

The Stars also have several players out due to injury, including Mark Parrish, Fabian Brunnstrom, Jere Lehtinen, Toby Peterson, Brad Richards, Sergei Zubov and Brendan Morrow. The Canes are missing just Scott Walker and perhaps Joni Pitkanen, who left early after taking a big hit during last night’s game in Chicago – hopefully we’ll get word on his status from the morning skate.

As recent opponents of the Hurricanes know, teams in fights for their playoff lives are often the toughest to play against at this point of the season. Although Dallas is only one point out of the eighth seed in the west and falls into that category, this is still a game the Hurricanes need to win.

Their biggest obstacle in that regard will be fatigue - tonight’s game is the fifth in seven nights with a good bit of travel thrown in. The good news is that the Hurricanes are 10-2-0 in the second half of back-to-back games this season, showing that the wear and tear hasn’t affected them as much as you might think.

Along with news on Pitkanen, I’ll be interested to see what Paul Maurice does with his goaltending. Before leaving on the trip, he mentioned the staff would make a decision on whether or not to use Michael Leighton sometime on the trip depending on the workload Cam Ward faced in Chicago. I would say that 41 shots, not to mention four more in the shootout, qualify as a pretty heavy workload. It’s possible Ward may get a rest tonight.

One other stat to look out for, although it’s not the type I usually pay much attention to – the Hurricanes’ franchise hasn’t won in Dallas since the Whalers beat them 5-3 on February 11, 1995.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
4 TBL 50 28 18 4 131 115 60
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 49 25 17 7 126 122 57
10 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
11 CAR 52 23 21 8 124 138 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 53 20 28 5 133 167 45

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 52 14 19 -15 33
K. Versteeg 51 10 21 2 31
V. Rask 50 12 18 0 30
E. Staal 52 9 21 1 30
J. Skinner 52 18 11 -4 29
J. Staal 52 11 16 4 27
E. Lindholm 52 8 16 -7 24
A. Nestrasil 45 5 12 -4 17
R. Hainsey 52 3 11 -14 14
J. Liles 52 5 7 -4 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 14 11 5 .905 2.41
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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