The Nashville Predators (3-0-3) take their unbeaten in regulation streak into Dallas where they will face the surprising Stars (5-1-0) at 7 p.m. at the American Airlines Center, The venue has not been kind to them over the years as their 5-16-1 record will attest. The Preds were 2-2 against the Stars last season.
The Preds have lost three straight home games in overtime while the Star's only loss was in Tampa last Monday. This is the best start for the Stars since they went 8-1 in 2005.
The Stars have shown plenty of offense early in the season with 3.67 goals per game compared to the Preds 2.67. The Preds have allowed 2.33 while the Stars have given up 2.67. Surprisingly, the Stars are only averaging 23 shots per game while giving up 36.3 while the Preds have fired 32.5 while allowing 34.
Another oddity is that he Predators' special teams statistically are better than the Stars. The Stars are 9.1% on the man advantage while the Preds are 17.9%. On the penalty kill, the Stars are at a league worst 64.3% and the Preds are at 76.2.
Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars while it is expected that Pekka Rinne will make his third straight start after returning from his early season injury. I would imagine that we could see the return of Anders Lindback at some point during this early season, back to back, set.
Dallas is led in scoring by Brad Richards (2 goals, 8 assists), James Neal (4,4), Mike Ribero (0-7), and Brenden Morrow (5,1). The Preds have had balanced scoring with twelve players with three points or more, led by Steve Sullivan with four goals and an assist.
This morning we found out that Teemu Laasko was recalled from Milwaukee since Kevin Klien was somewhat under the weather. Per @NHLPredsInsider Klein did skate this morning and the move was considered a precaution.
Tonight's game will not be available on the NHL Center Ice Preview. Paul McCann has the best explanation of why it is blacked out.
Amanda DiPaolo will be the lone Nashville media person at the game and provide updates at @predlines. Her game preview is here.
Other previews come from Chris Burton, Paul McCann, and Jeremy Gover.
From the Rink has both Nashville games this weekend listed in the top five games to watch.
The other side of the Star-Preds game previews can be found at The Dallas Morning News, ESPN Dallas, the Star-Telegram, The Dallas Stars Blog, and Defending Big D.
In Pred Nation...
Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy has more details on the "secret" Radulov contract that is actually a 2 year extension on a contract that runs through next season. Josh Cooper talked to David Poile about the new contract.
J R Lind captures the major screw-up by the Tennessean Pred writers who claim the crowd was demanding Crosby instead of Frosty on Thursday night.
The Tennessean has fallen back into their prior ways by grounding Josh Cooper this weekend for the Preds' back to back road games. Fortunately, Blogger's Row has it covered with Amanda DiPaolo in Dallas and Jeremy Gover in Tampa.
Josh Cooper does have a story about the offense of Joel Ward and David Legwand and an explanation of Colin Wilson's lack of ice time.
Dirk Hoag has the Preds' back to backs as one of the ten toughest of the season in the NHL. Dirk is also on the take, testing out a free pair of MLX Skates.
Mark Willoughby has his weekly "View" with more lessons in civics.
This may be the worst article ever written about the Predators. I can't imagine what would drive someone to this level of hatred. Sam at PredsBlog was also offended by the drivel.
Around the NHL...
The highlight of Friday's news was the six game suspension for Rick Rypien. I don't have a problem with that suspension. I have a bigger problem with the fan who needed "legal representation." No one should have any sympathy for this guy if he plans on making it a money grab. The guy should enjoy his 15 minutes of fame and leave it at that.
The Pioneer Press has the story of Gary Bettman calling "the fan" and his disappointment with what he considers a light punishment. He also claims he is getting "harassed". I guess Gary should quit calling him.
There is a three way debate at Red Light District over which team is more surprising so far, the Islanders, Stars, or Leafs.
Wile the Predators' attendance has been booming this year, Columbus and Atlanta have had crowds under 10,000 already but Phoenix my have set the standard with 6,707 on Thursday.
Kingscast is ready to claim the cup in episode 75.
Adrian Dater discusses the Preds' Sunday opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning and their quick turn-around.
Good to hear from @ChrisBottaNHL: Kirill Kabanov is expected to re-join the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday after two weeks in Russia on a personal matter.
Here is an older article by Tapeleg that is worth another visit on the original Zamboni.
James Murphy's new show s now Hockey Primetime (as opposed to the old name Inside Hockey). Here is the preview of today's show that can be heard on XM/Sirius or at Hockey PrimeTime.
Brent Sopel is now doing his own video blog. This time he has Dustin Byfuglien as a guest.
Funny video from the Dallas Stars where a fan complains about Adam Burish on NHL 11 and Burish responds.
Odds and Ends...
If I lived in Cincinnati, I'd be all over this opportunity to be a roller derby official.
Speaking of Derby, here is a good lead up to the Nashville RollerGirls trip to the Nationals in Chicago in two weeks.
Todd Stepp has the difference between Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, this is hard to believe. A giant penis shaped weather system was spotted in Texas.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass