Friday, February 19, 2010

Gameday Preview: Stars at Toronto Marlies

Texas Stars
31-18-3-4, 69 pts
#2 West Division
atToronto Marlies
21-26-5-5, 52 pts
#6 North Division
February 19th at 6:00 PM
Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON

Texas is hot on the trail of West division leader, Chicago. After winning their last two games in commanding fashion on the road, the Stars look to continue their streak against the North Division's Toronto Marlies.

Texas and Toronto have tangled once already this season in Cedar Park. The game was a sellout affair back on January 15th, also a Friday night. Texas won 5-1 in front of a standing room only crowd. Since the matchup, Texas is 7-5-1-0 and Toronto is 6-8-0-3. The Marlies are coming off a come-from-behind win against the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday night.

Despite their record, the Marlies are still packed with talent. Leading scorer Andrew Deveaux has 14 goals and 18 assists but is also a bruiser with 155 PIMs. Also watch out for Viktor Stalberg, a highly touted rookie winger, who has scored 30 points in only 34 games.

Toronto takes a lot of penalties, #2 in the AHL at 22.79 minutes per game. They stop 83.3% of power play opportunities against and are similarly midpack on the power play at home. As far as goals, Texas allows the second fewest goals in the league at 2.34, but Toronto allows the second most at 3.53. The stats seem to be pointing favorably in the Stars' direction.

If this wasn't enough, we know very well that the Stars are an excellent 2nd period team, outscoring opponents 62-40 in the middle frame. By contrast, Toronto has been doubled up in the middle period on the season at 42-87. The time to win this game is in the second stanza, surely.

Stars injury/call up report:
Wilson (stomach strain), Krahn (lower body), Climie (day-to-day with viral infection)

Website: torontomarlies.com
Blog (official): Bart's Bytes
Twitter: @TorontoMarlies

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