20-21-1-2, 43 pts
#15 Western Conference
27-16-2-2, 58 pts
#2 Western Conference
February 4th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
The last place Texas Stars face one of the best teams in the conference much less the league in the Charlotte Checkers this evening in Cedar Park. Texas is on a current three game losing streak at the hands of West Division opponents San Antonio, OKC, and Houston. Despite that grim outlook, Texas is actually up in the season series against Charlotte, taking two of three so far in the series, which ends this evening. Those three games were played back-to-back-to-back in early December.
Since the Stars last played them, the Checkers have lost one of their top scorers via trade. Not to fear though, the Stars will still be terrorized at the hands of Jon Matsumoto as he now dons the silver and black of the Rampage. Left wing A.J. Jenks went the other way in the trade and only has one goal in six games. Chris Terry leads the Checkers up front with 10-30-40. Fresh off an NHL stint, Jerome Samson is second in scoring at 15-12-27. Zach Boychuk is tied with him at 12-15-27
The last time around, netminding was a key strength for Charlotte with two of the top goalies in the AHL tending the cage for them. Justin Peters is on recall to Carolina and Mike Murphy is injured, leaving John Muse from Florida's Everblades to start in their stead. The rookie Muse has compiled an impressive 6-1 record, allowing just 1.48 GAA and .953 SV%. Scott Darling, who has played in the CHL, ECHL and SPHL this season, is the backup. I would not expect him to get a start in his stay in Charlotte, if the schedule allows.
The Stars can hope that travel is a factor for the Checkers, who got in late Friday night after a road win in Oklahoma City.
One other note from the Department of "It was only a matter of time" is that Tomas Vincour was recalled to Dallas late last night with the movement of Brenden Morrow back to the IR with an upper body injury.
Stars injury/call up report:
Larsen, Vincour (callup)
Sawada, Tousignant, Sceviour, Labrie, Lukowich (injury)
Checkers Social Media: Social Media
Blog (unofficial): Chasing Checkers
Twitter: @mikelappan (PR)