Friday, October 18, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars v. San Antonio Rampage

Texas Stars
2-1-1-0, 5 pts
#13 Western Conference
v.San Antonio Rampage
2-3-0-0, 4 pts
#10 Western Conference
October 19th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Last night's victory in San Antonio was a solid step for the Stars' overall growth on the season. In their first three games, all eight Stars' goals came from their top two lines. Needing depth scoring, the third line delivered on Friday. It didn't hurt that a healthy Curtis McKenzie pushed Chris Mueller to the third line, where he combined with Brendan Ranford for four points on the night.

Texas is in a similar position to where they were at the end of the 2012-13 season. The scoring talent is leaking onto the third line, which is great for the club. While there may be some who would argue that the Stars should place Mueller on the first line with Morin and Sceviour, it makes more sense to slot McKenzie there for multiple reasons. First of all, he's sandpaper on that line and has shown a bit of hands in his short time with Texas. Also, he has more of an opportunity to mature with some veteran insulation on the first line.

Instead, Texas gets scoring touch on the third line in Mueller and combines him with Petersen to provide a safety blanket for another rookie: Brendan Ranford. It's just one game, but it worked out pretty well.

Texas could see a vast difference in experience in the goaltender faceoff tonight. Scott Clemmensen was assigned by the Panthers yesterday and could start tonight. Clemmensen is a veteran of 171 NHL games while Josh Robinson, likely Texas starter, will be playing in his first AHL game.

Stars injury/call up report:
Campbell (call up)

Website: sarampage.com
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @SARampage
Twitter: @DanWeissPBP (play-by-play for SA)

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