The sixth through twelfth seeds in the Western Conference are only separated by seven points. The Dallas Stars fit in at the bottom of this list, but have a couple games to work with compared to most teams (Stars have played 55, while several teams in the West have played 57 or 58). The Stars play the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, a team that has a three point lead on the Stars in the close race for the Wild Card spots. Because of the proximity of all of these teams in the Western Conference, this is one of those games that can really push the Stars into a closer position to the playoffs.
Most importantly for the Dallas Stars, they are out of the month of January. Dallas Stars fans and players can now relax a bit after starting off the previous month with three points in their first ten games. They have overcome that horrible statistic for now and are 5-3-2 in their last ten games.
The Stars have three games remaining this week until they have a nice break for the Olympics. With only three players going to the Olympics, Jamie Benn (Team Canada), Kari Lehtonen (Team Finland), and Valeri Nichushkin (Team Russia), the Stars have the opportunity for their roster to battle fiercely through these last games knowing that they have a break following Saturday night.
What to expect tonight:
Captain Jamie Benn is currently riding a five game goal streak. Benn has been finding a way to not only score, but to set up linemate Tyler Seguin as Seguin got out of his drought that he was stuck in.
Expect that Seguin and Benn can put up some points tonight, and hopefully get Nichushkin more involved as Nichushkin prepares for the next level of hockey next week when the rookie represents Russia in Sochi.
Game starts at 8PM Central Time on FOX Sports Southwest.