Tracking the Storm

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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72