Friday, October 21, 2016

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Ontario Reign

Texas Stars
2-1-0-0, 4 pts, 0.667
#3 Pacific Division
atOntario Reign
1-0-0-0, 2 pts, 1.000
#2 Pacific Division
October 21st at 9:00 PM
Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, CA

UPDATE: Forward Gemel Smith has been recalled to Dallas.

Somehow we're a week into the season and tonight's game will only be Ontario's second game of the year. The 68-game schedule rears its ugly head already. It's opening night for the Reign, so Texas will have to endure a lengthy introduction ceremony.

Regardless of the scheduling, the biggest news affecting tonight's game happened in the NHL last week. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick injured his groin, requiring surgery and putting him on the IR for three months. Peter Budaj, the best goalie in the AHL last year, was recalled to the NHL and the backup in the AHL slid into the starting role. You might know the name.

Jack Campbell.

After his trade this summer, the once and future goalie of the Dallas Stars found himself in the AHL backing up Budaj. The injury has thrust him into the role he definitely wanted to start the year and given him a chance to put himself in the long-term plans for the Kings. Campbell has had this opportunity before with Dallas but was unable to convert it into an NHL gig. Last year he found himself in the ECHL after starting the season 3-6.

Now he can at least work to make the case that he deserves to split time with Budaj when he returns. If the Kings sputter in net with Quick gone, he could even get a chance to swap with Budaj in the NHL and give it a second shot there.

On the Texas side, watch for the Stars to hit the ice strong tonight. Ontario is a tough team and didn't lose much steam from last season, when they were best in the West (but didn't win the Cup). Chip on their shoulder for that and a week of rest.

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

Website: ontarioreign.com
Twitter: @ontarioreign
Coverage: Reign coverage via Jewels from the Crown

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