Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Charlotte Checkers

Texas Stars
10-7-7-0, 27 pts
#11 Western Conference
v.Charlotte Checkers
8-14-2-0, 18 pts
#14 Western Conference
December 13th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The good news is that Texas got two points last night. The bad news is that Lake Erie, Hamilton and Grand Rapids all did as well. There is a thick pack of teams from seventh to eleventh in the West, all with either 27 or 28 points. The Stars will look to separate themselves with a win tonight against the same Charlotte club from last night.

There will probably be some lineup shuffling as Scott Valentine blocked a shot late in the game and had trouble making it to the bench. He had to be helped off the ice to the locker room and will probably give way to William Wrenn in the lineup. Derek Hulak missed the third period last night. Gemel Smith took warmups but did not play. He could jump in as well. It could be a very different lineup on the bottom six easily.

In net, Anders Lindback will get the call again. Coach Laxdal is "riding the hot horse" and Lindback is definitely that right now for the Stars. In four AHL starts this year, he has a 3-1 record with a 1.48 GAA and a .950 SV%. Add in that Jack Campbell has reportedly been under the weather as well and it makes sense. Lindback hasn't played a whole lot of games this season and an AHL stint is clearly doing him good in terms of getting back to the form that he showed early in his career with Nashville.

If Texas can take last night's win and throw in a power play goal to boot, it'd have to be one of the best four game stretches the team has had all season. Big chance for six points on this homestand and a postive momentum swing as they prepare to hit the road next weekend for a tough three-in-three.

Stars injury/call up report:
Rynnas, McKenzie, Jokipakka. Morin (call up)
Henderson (out, hand infection)
Smith (questionable, illness)
Valentine (questionable, lower body)

Website: gocheckers.com
Checkers Social Media: Social Media
Blog (unofficial): Chasing Checkers
Twitter: @checkershockey
Twitter: @N_Niedzielski (former Texas Stars intern, now Checkers Communications)
Twitter: @PaulBranecky

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