Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
38-17-5-6, 87 pts
#1 Western Conference
atGrand Rapids Griffins
38-22-3-3, 82 pts
#3 Western Conference
March 30th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

UPDATE: Dallas recalled Toby Petersen this morning.

After a bit of a layoff since the crazy game in Houston, Texas comes home for their only game this weekend and only game until next Friday. That rest time comes at a nice spot for Texas as they've still got several players on the IR and are looking at their last three-in-three of the season next weekend. However, that's a week away. Tonight, Texas will battle a worthy foe in third-ranked Grand Rapids.

This evening's game will be the last of the regular season between these two. In three previous meetings, Texas is 1-2 on the season. Overall things are pretty even between these two clubs historically, especially at Texas. The Stars are 4-4-1 at CPC against the Griffins in the past four years. The two clubs haven't played since December 1st when one of the main storylines was still the brother matchup of Reilly vs. Brenden Smith.

Since that point, the Griffs are 27-16-2-2 and have held onto the #3 spot they had on that day as well. With only occassional visits from Jonas Gustavsson, Grand Rapids goaltending has been a back and forth between Tom McCollum and Petr Mrazek. Mrazek's coming out party really started against the Stars back in November. It was his first AHL start and he allowed just one goal on 30 shots. Mrazek has since compiled a 21-12-2 record.

The Griffins are coming in having played in Houston last night, a 3-2 win.

Grand Rapids and Texas are similar in that both clubs have excellent power plays and poor penalty kills. Texas is 3rd with 20.7% on the power play and 24th with 81.5% on the PK. Grand Rapids is 7th (18.6%) and 29th (80%), respectively. The Griffins take far more penalties per game than the Stars (1097 on the season vs. 835). The special teams 'balance' could work out in the Stars' favor if that follows through tonight.

Stars injury/call up report:
Roussel, Benn, Vincour, Petersen (call up)
Nemeth, Nilstorp, Wandell (injured)

Website: griffinshockey.com
Twitter: @GriffinsHockey
Blog: Griffins Hockey on MLive.com

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