Gameday Preview: Stars v. Manitoba Moose

Texas Stars
16-10-1-1, 34 pts
#5 West Division
v.Manitoba Moose
12-10-0-4, 28 pts
#6 North Division
December 14th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The Manitoba Moose visit the Cedar Park Center this evening to close out their West Division road trip that has seen them fall in games against Texas, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio so far. The Stars will hope to continue the trend against the West with a victory over the North division's 6th place team tonight.

The Stars and Moose faced off at this exact same day and time last week in a game that sent Texas off through their massive gauntlet of road games. After splitting the road trip at 2-2, Texas returns to hopefully enjoy some home cooking and get a boost from sleeping in their own beds instead of bus seats.

Two Texas Stars have been having great streaks despite the road trip. Ray Sawada is currently tied for the league lead with points in 6 straight games dating back to December 4th. Ray's 3 goals and 3 assists aren't all that's perked up in the right winger's play. Over the same stretch, Sawada is plus-4, showing his two-way play is up to snuff as well. Travis Morin is also on a tear as of late with goals in each of his last three games, including the OT game winner in Milwaukee.

Speaking of streaks, the Moose are currently on a season-high four game losing streak that stretches back to a 4-0 shutout loss in Manitoba against the Barons. Especially demoralizing for the club are the surrenders of 2-0 and 3-2 leads in San Antonio on Saturday en route to a 5-4 shootout loss. Look for the club to be hungry for a win tonight, perhaps to fault as in San Antonio.

No word at this current hour on whether Richard Bachman will be returned for today's game. Dallas plays again on Thursday at home which should give #1 goalie Kari Lehtonen enough time to recover. Bachman may not be returned today, but Stars fans will have to hope that Bachman is returned before the weekend, if not today.

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn (lower body)
McCulloch (upper body)
Gagnon, Bachman (call up)

Twitter: @ManitobaMoose
Newspaper: Winnipeg Free Press