Gameday Preview: Stars v. Houston Aeros

Texas Stars
36-24-4-6, 82 pts
#3 West Division
v.Houston Aeros
41-25-1-5, 88 pts
#1 West Division
March 22nd at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The streaking Houston Aeros bring their high-flying squad to the Cedar Park Center for the last time in the regular season series between the two teams. The Aeros are winners of four straight games coming into the game tonight and have likely locked up a playoff spot thanks to their strong play over the last week. They have moved past Milwaukee into the top spot in the West and look to be hitting their stride at just the right time.

Texas is coming off a strong showing in Manitoba with Greg Rallo scoring his first AHL hat trick. Rallo has nine points in his nine games in March, and he is the only Texas Star to play all seventy games to this point. He is a key cog for the Stars and his role as a veteran will be that much more important with captain Brad Lukowich in Dallas. Colton Sceviour leads the season series in scoring between the two teams with eight points but Rallo isn't far behind with five.

From Houston, it's been the Matt Hackett show recently. Hackett has started the Aeros' last five games, in which they've collected nine points. On the offensive side, the Stars have been snakebitten by Jon DiSalvatore, who has scored 15 points against Texas this year. That would be just under 30% of his point total on the year. Patrick O'Sullivan and Maxim Noreau have also collected 10 points each in the season series.

Houston is a possible first round matchup for Texas. Tonight's game will be a good opportunity to shake the "can't beat 'em" feelings that the Stars might have developed around the squad. Their last game between the two was a Texas victory. The Stars will be looking to start a trend tonight.

Stars injury/call up report:
Gazdic (undisclosed injury)
Segal, Lukowich, Vincour (call up)

Luke Gazdic has now missed the Stars' last four games. Philip Larsen did not return to the Stars last game versus the Moose after a first period hit. Larsen is day-to-day and will likely go tonight.

Brenden Dillon could be joined the Stars for tonight's game as well after signing an ATO with the club, as reported this morning by his WHL squad.

Blog (unofficial): The Third Intermission
Twitter: @Houston_Aeros