22-11-3-2, 49 pts
#4 Western Conference
17-12-3-2, 39 pts
#12 Western Conference
January 16th 7:00 PM
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
The Texas Stars kick off the second half of their 2012-13 campaign in the Windy City for their first game of the season against the Chicago Wolves. Formerly division rivals, the Stars and Wolves will only play each other four times this season. Both games at Allstate Arena will be played this week.
It is an interesting time for the Vancouver Canucks affiliate. If you look at the skaters list, there are a lot of red Xs next to names at the top of the list, indicating callup to the NHL. According to the AHL transaction sheet, the Wolves had 12 players recalled to the big club this week: Andrew Ebbett (C), Andrew Gordon (RW), Anton Rodin (F), Bill Sweatt (LW), Chris Tanev (D), Darren Archibald (D), Derek Joslin (D), Joe Cannata (G), Jordan Schroeder (C), Kevin Connauton (D), Peter Andersson (D) and Zack Kassian (RW).
If you check that list, three of the top four scorers are out and potentially not returning. Among the top five, the only ones that remain are Brett Sterling (13-13-26, plus-9 in 30 GP) and Darren Haydar (5-14-19, plus-7 in 29 GP). Players still remaining to watch for include Brad Hunt, a rookie defenseman with 2-14-16 and a plus-5.
The Stars are likely to see Matt Climie in net. He has been the starter in all but one game since November 28th, a stretch of 16 games. Eddie Lack has been hampered by a groin issue in that time. The former Star Climie is on an AHL-only deal and has a 9-11-1 record with a 2.41 GAA and .921 SV%.
Texas should look to continue their power play success against the Wolves, one of the worst clubs in the league at 79.5% (28th). The Stars have scored a power play goal in eleven straight games, including their last contest against OKC which featured a depleted roster.
The Wolves are struggling this season overall. They are currently on a winning streak of three games and have piled up two four games streaks as well. Those wins account for eleven of their seventeen.
The Stars are also going streaking in a winning way. Tonight's game represents a chance to extend a franchise-record winning streak to a seventh game. If Texas can survive the first, a period they are being outscored in 28-36 on the season, they have a great shot at the win. Texas is 7-2 when leading after one and 11-1-2-2 when tied.
Stars injury/call up report:
Nilstorp, Benn, Dillon, R. Smith, Eakin, Roussel, Sceviour, Oleksiak
Wathier, Morin (injury)
Twitter: @theshaves (Wolves PxP)