Gameday Preview: Stars v. Adirondack Flames

Texas Stars
32-21-13-1, 78 pts
#6 Western Conference
v.Adirondack Flames
32-26-6-2, 72 pts
#11 Western Conference
April 1st at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The Texas Stars will welcome the Flames to the Cedar Park Center for the first and final time this evening. Adirondack and Texas play just two games against each other this season. The last game, on December 5th, was a 3-2 Texas loss. This is the return contest. The Flames are part of the western movement of the AHL and will be heading to Stockton, California, this summer. Adirondack will get a team in the ECHL.

Youth leads the way in Adirondack. The top four scorer on their active roster are all playing their first year of AHL hockey. Wingers David Wolf, Emile Poirier, Ken Agostino and Garnet Hathaway have about thirty points each on the season.

The Flames are a little more spread out on the scoring than Texas with 12 players above the 20-point mark to Texas' 10. Some of the players you might recognize just outside that mark are former Stars Taylor Vause and Mathieu Tousignant. The two paired up in December to down the Stars with Vause scoring two goals, each assisted by Tousignant, in the 3-2 ADK win.

Adirondack now comes to down desperate for wins. They are 10th in the conference by points and 11th by points percentage. They need every bit down the stretch to make the postseason.

Texas will be rolling a slightly tweaked lineup tonight. Derek Meech missed most of the third period on Saturday after suffering a lower body injury. He'll be out and replaced by either Matt Mangene or Scott Valentine. Texas also has the option to bring either in as a forward and roll with 7 defensemen.

Valeri Nichushkin will play his final game of this conditioning stint and will start the game on the top line with Greg Rallo and Travis Morin. Laxdal tried him there in the third period and he had a spark. This will be his last tune-up before presumably re-joining Dallas for their Friday home game against the St. Louis Blues.

With Nichushkin in and Ritchie and McKenzie now back, two forwards will have to shuffle out at the bottom of the lineup. It looks like that would be two of the four including Troock, Henderson, Smith and Stransky.

Stars injury/call up report:
Rynnas, Faksa, Meech (injury)

Newspaper: Post Star
Twitter: @AHLFlames
Team play by play Twitter: Cameron Close (@cclose19)
Beat writer: Diana Nearhos (@dianacnearhos)