29-18-3-4, 65 pts
#4 West Division
34-13-3-5, 76 pts
#1 North Division
February 16th at 6:30 PM
Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, ON
Texas moves from one challenge right into the next tonight. Coming off three straight losses, including two to the top ranked team in the West, Chicago, the Stars head up north to take on the top team in the North Division, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Hamilton comes into tonight's match 7-2-0-1 in their last ten, but they have dropped their last two, a shootout loss to Lake Erie and a regulation loss to Abbotsford. Texas and Hamilton have met only once so far this season, a shootout loss in October at Cedar Park Center. Tonight's game in Hamilton will be the last game between the two in the regular season. It will also be Texas's first trip to Hamilton.
Hamilton is a bit of a scary team. They average 3.27 goals for per game (#4 in the league) but only allow 2.22 goals per game (#1 in the league). In their last ten, they are even better: allowing 1.9 goals per game and scoring 3.6 goals per game. Not helping matters is that fact that All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban and several others have been assigned from Montreal since the Olympic break is upon us.
Hamilton is midpack on the power play and the penalty kill at home. Texas's PK has dropped on the road to #8 at 84.5%. Power play for the Stars is also midpack. Neither team takes many penalties, so I expect a clean game. In fact, I think with the losses that Texas suffered at home and the knowledge that Hamilton is sure to be a playoff team, the Stars may approach this like a playoff game. At least, I would. You need to win it to snap out of things. Certainly with the way our record has gone recently, Texas could use this win especially against this team.
Matt Climie did not make the trip due to issues with a viral infection. He is day-to-day and expected to join later in the road stretch. We could see Bachman tonight as he just got called up from Idaho.
Stars injury/call up report:
Wilson (stomach strain), Krahn (lower body), Climie (day-to-day with viral infection)