Gameday Preview: Stars at Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
41-24-3-4, 89 pts
#2 West Division
atGrand Rapids Griffins
31-35-3-3, 68 pts
#7 North Division
March 27th at 6:00 PM
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

Your Texas Stars are coming off a huge win against the team that leads their division, the Chicago Wolves. Now they travel eastward to take on the bottom-feeder of the North Division, Grand Rapids. However, it has not been a cakewalk for Texas this year in five games against the Griffins already. On the season, Texas has only mustered one win, a 2-0 victory at home on October 15th, only the second regular season game ever played in Cedar Park Center. Since then, Texas has fallen four times and has yet to win a game in Van Andel Arena. Tonight's game is the last between the two teams in the regular season.

The Griffins are certainly outside of the playoff picture but have been playing decent hockey recently nonetheless. Grand Rapids is 6-2-1-1 in their last ten and is coming off back-to-back wins against Milwaukee on Thursday and Friday. Tonight's game will be the third of a 3-in-3 for Grand Rapids and the second for Texas, who will return to Chicago for a matinee game on Sunday.

The Griffins are led up front by Jeremy Williams. Williams leads in goals, assists, and point on the season (26-28-54). Patrick Rissmiller and Mattias Ritola round out the top three on the season. Defenseman Paul Crosty leads the Griffins in PIMs with 166. Daniel Larsson and Thomas McCollum are in net for the Griffins. Larsson has gained the majority of the starts at 48 games played and has garnered a 22-22-1 record with a 2.84 GAA and a .905 SV%. McCollum is 8-14-2 with a 3.55 GAA and .878 SV%.

Interestingly, Grand Rapids is top 10 in the league on home ice when it comes to penalty killing. The Griffins are not a good second period team, which could play to the Stars' advantage. Grand Rapids has allowed 94 second period goals while only scoring 70. Texas holds a 78-52 advantage in the second over the course of the season.

Stars injury/call up report:
Wilson, McCulloch, Rallo (injured)
Benn (call up)

Twitter: @GriffinsHockey