Gameday Preview: Stars at Hamilton Bulldogs

Texas Stars
29-15-2-4, 64 pts
#4 Western Conference
atHamilton Bulldogs
22-22-0-4, 48 pts
#10 Western Conference
February 15th at 6:00 PM
FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON

Welcome back to the real world. Hockey is back on tap tonight for the Texas Stars as they visit the Hamilton Bulldogs for the second and final time this season. Hamilton will visit the Cedar Park Center twice in one week at the end of March to close out the season schedule.

Saturday's game starts a grueling weekend three-in-three that sees Texas hit three different road cities, bouncing across the US-Canada border twice to do it. Two of those games are afternoon affairs, which Texas has not faired well in so far this season. In games starting before 7:00 local time this season, the Stars are 4-5-0-1. It also combines two "back-to-back" games, if you will, which Texas has also had trouble with. Texas has a 10-7-0-1 record in the second game of a back to back, but has struggled this calendar year, going 2-4. When you combine the two factors, matinee games that are the second game of a back-to-back, Texas is a detestable 2-5-0-1. This weekend, will feature two such games.

Hamilton comes into the game with a two game winning streak, both by a single goal. The Bulldogs broke up a five game skid with those wins. They are 3-7 in their last ten. Sven Andrighetto has been a big star for the club. Last time Texas played in Hamilton, Andrighetto was out of the lineup. This time he is in and was just named the AHL's Player of the Week for the week before the All-Star Break. Two of Texas's skaters just played a game in front of one of the goalies they could face tonight, Dustin Tokarski. His play earned him an All-Star nod and that makes Hamilton a formidable foe.

We should continue to be on Patrik Nemeth watch as the Stars defenseman underwent surgery at Christmas and had a 4-6 week recovery window. That's right about now.

Stars injury/call up report:
Campbell, Nemeth, Vause, Petersen (injury)

Twitter: @dogsplaybyplay