48-18-3-7, 106 pts
#1 Western Conference
|Grand Rapids Griffins
46-23-2-5, 99 pts
#4 Western Conference
Texas leads 2-0
May 13th at 6:00 PM
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
The Texas Stars head to the Great Lake State under the best possible circumstances. Up 2-0 in their series, they have a chance to close things out in Grand Rapids without requiring a return trip to Cedar Park for the Griffins.
As the saying goes, however, "a series isn't a series until someone loses a home game." Neither team has lost a home game yet and the Griffins get their first crack at a home victory against the Stars tonight.
In the regular season, Texas dropped two games against the Griffins at Van Andel. Texas allowed a total of ten goals in those two games on back-to-back nights. Including those two losses, the Stars are 5-7 all-time at Van Andel Arena.
The team and Coach Desjardins are aware of the dynamic change in the series as they hit the road, "It will be a more physical game and they'll come hard at us. We haven't had great success in that arena."
MLive.com points out that Grand Rapids has never won a series where they trailed 0-2. They have been in that situation four times, including three in the team's AHL era (2004, 2006, 2009). All three series ended in a sweep by the opposition. In his career as a coach, Jeff Blashill has never been swept.
Goalie rotation indicates that Michigander Jack Campbell will start tonight's game and, if necessary, Game 5 as well. Petr Mrazek in net on the other end.
More lineup notes:
- Look to see if Brendan Ranford can continue his hot streak. A goal in tonight's contest would put him at five straight with a tally. Desjardins on Ranford: "It's funny how well the line has played when he's on it. Morin and McKenzie got going again when we put him there. It's a hard role for him but he's been really good."
- Good play again on Saturday from the fourth line. They had a great forecheck, drew a penalty and had some extended offensive zone time. Desjardins said, "Faksa's been really good. That's a big step from juniors. Stransky's come so far. He's a really good player and wants to get better. He's worked hard at his game. He has a good attitude. Petersen can do a little of everything."
Ritchie, Hulak, Klingberg (injury)
Blog: Griffins Hockey on MLive.com