NHL Monday NBC Sports Network Preview: Detroit versus Dallas.
The Detroit Red Wings visit the Dallas Stars on the NBC Sports Network at 8:30 PM ET in a battle of Central Division teams currently outside the playoff picture.
Dallas has won two games in a row after their 5-1 victory against Columbus on Saturday. Joe Pavelski scored his team-high 18th goal, and five other Stars’ players added a goal or an assist. Denis Gurianov, Jamie Benn, John Klingberg, and Esa Linder all scored goals. Jake Oettinger stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
The Stars are in sixth place in the Central Division, three points behind Nashville for the fourth and final playoff spot. They are one point behind Chicago for fifth place.
Dallas returned the core of their group that lost to Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup finals in six games. After having their first four games canceled because of COVID, the Stars have been behind the eight-ball all season. They still have three games in hand to potentially catch the Predators. Management did not make a move at the trade deadline, but they did add defenseman Sami Vatanen off waivers.
Center Tyler Seguin has not played this season with a hip injury, but he is expected to be back if Dallas makes the postseason. Right wing Alexander Radulov and goaltender Ben Bishop are out the year with injuries.
Pavelski leads the team with 41 points coming from 18 goals and 23 assists. Rope Hintz has added 13 goals and 22 assists. The left wing will be a game-time decision to play tonight with a lower-body injury. Left wing Jason Robertson is third on the team with 12 goals and 20 assists.
Head coach Rick Bowness has tapped Anton Khudobin as his goalie tonight. Khudobin has a 9-9-6 record with a 2.34 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.
Detroit had their three-game winning streak end with a 4-0 loss to Chicago on Saturday. The Red Wings had 29 shots but got shut out by the Blackhawks’ goaltender Malcolm Subban. Jonathan Bernier made 23 stops in the losing effort for Detroit.
The Red Wings are in last place in the Central Division, 11 points outside the playoff picture. General manager Steve Yzerman was a seller at the trade deadline by trading forward Anthony Mantha and defenseman Patrick Nemeth. With 19 draft picks in the first five rounds next two drafts, including five in the first two rounds for 2021, the organization is in a full rebuild.
Center Dylan Larkin leads the team with 22 points coming from eight goals and 14 assists. Defenseman Filip Hronek has two goals and 22 assists. Left wing Adam Erne has added 11 goals and seven assists.
Head coach Jeff Blashill is expected to keep Bernier as his goaltender tonight. Bernier is 9-8-0 with a 2.93 goals-against-average with a .913 save percentage.
Dallas has won three of the four meetings between these two teams after defeating the Red Wings in Detroit by a 3-0 score on March 20th. BookMaker lists the Stars as a -245 money line favorite with the total set at 5.5.
Computer prediction: Dallas Stars 4 Detroit Red Wings 1