Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars at Charlotte Checkers

Texas Stars
40-19-5-6, 91 pts
#1 Western Conference
atCharlotte Checkers
39-25-3-3, 84 pts
#4 Western Conference
April 11th at 6:00 PM
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

Texas travels to Charlotte for a two game set that will finish their season series with the Checkers. The Stars have a 4-1-1 record this season against the Checkers and can sew up the South Division with two wins tonight and tomorrow. Those wins would push Texas to 95 points and leave Charlotte's maximum points at 92. All other max point totals for South Division teams are 94 points or lower.

That would be a nice thing to get from the trip, but the Stars are no doubt concentrating on this thing a game at a time.

Since the last game this club played in San Antonio, three players have departed. Carl Sneep and Mathieu Tousignant were moved at the AHL movement deadline to other clubs in the AHL. Texas received center Brett Sonne from Peoria in return for Sneep but did not receive a player in return for Tousignant. Cristopher Nilstorp is also out of the lineup tonight as he was called to Dallas yesterday to backup Richard Bachman. Josh Robinson has been recalled from Idaho to backup Campbell in Texas.

Speaking of goalies, Texas fans will surely remember the performance that Rob Madore put on last time these two teams met. Madore's first AHL start was a beauty against Texas as he stopped 41 of 43 for his first win. Madore started the next four games after that for the Checkers, compiling a 3-2 record overall and an impressive 1.77 GAA and .950 SV%. Madore needed to stand tall for the Checkers as John Muse was up in Carolina until April 1.

Madore is clearly a talented player who even excels when seeing a lot of rubber in a game. He has averaged 33 shots against per 60 minutes played. Texas can do their best to make sure they put a lot of shots on, but they need to be quality shots.

And not to get too frantic about it, but the Stars' two weekend losses and Toronto's 4-0-1 streak have put just a two point cushion on the top spot in the West. Getting zero points out of Charlotte could lead to the Stars slipping from the top spot on Friday night if the Marlies beat the Heat.

Stars injury/call up report:
Chiasson, Benn, Fraser, Nilstorp (call up)
Nemeth (injured)

Website: gocheckers.com
Checkers Social Media: Social Media
Blog (unofficial): Chasing Checkers
Twitter: @checkershockey
Twitter: @mikelappan (PR)
Twitter: @PaulBranecky

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