Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Stockton Heat

Texas Stars
12-10-2-1, 27 pts
#3 Pacific Division
v.Stockton Heat
8-8-0-2, 18 pts
#7 Pacific Division
December 12th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The last time these two met, we were discussing the re-addition of Devin Shore to the Stars' lineup after a successful NHL callup. This time, the story is a little bit different.

After last night's hit and subsequent injury, the Stars will be without their leading scorer, both in goals and points, for at least 4-6 weeks, if not more. On a team with suspect defense and goaltending, it can't be good to lose the guy who is best at putting the puck in the other team's net.

Texas has Cory Kane available for the night as well as Matt Mangene, who has played forward at times this season. They could also go with seven defenseman and 11 forwards. The Steelheads, who are in Oklahoma and heading back to Allen at the moment for a Sunday rematch, just finished three games in three nights and it wouldn't probably be worth it to try to use any of the players currently there as callups. Four games in four nights is not a great situation. If they were called on to play both games, it would be five in five. That's not doable.

Since these two clubs last met, Texas is 4-6-2 and Stockton is 5-3. With the way the numbers shake out though, neither has changed their playoff fate much in any significant way. However, this week at least there is definitely a trend. The Stars have lost their last four while the Heat just knocked off two playoff teams in San Diego and San Antonio.

Joni Ortio is probably your starter for Stockton. John Muse will go for Texas.

Stars injury/call up report:
Shore, Troock (injury)

Twitter: @ahlheat