Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Manitoba Moose

Texas Stars
33-20-5-3, 74 pts, 0.607
#2 Pacific Division
v.Manitoba Moose
18-30-4-5, 45 pts, 0.395
#7 Central Division
March 5th at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The Manitoba Moose will make their first visit to the Cedar Park Center since 2011 this evening.

Coming off last night's loss, the big story is two-fold. First, Manitoba is another basement dweller in the standings. Iowa's two points last night tied them with the Moose at 45 on the season. Playing the role of spoiler, the Moose have nothing to lose. Texas needs to do all the things it didn't do last night to beat them.

Coach Laxdal noted that Connor Hellebuyck is an NHL calibre goaltender and having him in net won't be helping Texas' chances to win for sure. That means another 18 shot performance simply won't cut it.

The second half of the story is the blue line. Julius Honka is not expected to play after being injured last night in the first. Further, with an injury to John Klingberg in Dallas, Texas should expect to lose a defenseman sometime today. It will likely be Stephen Johns to replace right-shot Klingberg. With Johns and Honka out, Jesse Blacker will check in and Matt Mangene will play defense. Cory Kane will join at forward and Texas will have no healthy scratches.

Stars injury/call up report:
Faksa, Ritchie (call up)
Rallo, Shore, Morin, Honka (injury)

Twitter: @ManitobaMoose
Newspaper: Winnipeg Free Press
Beat writer: @pwilliamsNHL