Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Manitoba Moose

Texas Stars
20-16-1-2, 43 pts, 0.551
#6 Pacific Division
v.Manitoba Moose
16-19-3-2, 37 pts, 0.463
#7 Central Division
January 24th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Thanks to the lengthy travel between Winnipeg and Austin, the Stars will play Manitoba again in quick succession. Last week's battle ended in a 4-3 victory for the home side and Texas will look to close their series against the Moose with a winning record. In their current incarnation, the Moose have yet to defeat the Stars in Cedar Park.

While Texas hopped on a plane to split two games in Des Moines, the Moose stuck around the Lone Star state, heading to San Antonio for a weekend set. They scored two goals in each game. In the first, that was enough as Eric Comrie pitched a shutout. In the second, it was not. San Antonio defeated Manitoba 4-2.

Speaking of goaltending, here's a question for Texas: when will Maxime Lagace play again? It's been 11 days since his last game, a 5-3 loss in Tucson. Since then, Texas has played five games in a breakneck 10 day span, all started by Landon Bow.

The current playoff line has dropped to .588, meaning Texas needs to rattle off 4 straight wins to get there. The Stars have had one four-game win streak this season and came close to having another last week in Iowa.

Realistically, this is a three-way race between Texas, Stockton and San Diego for the fourth spot in the playoffs. Ontario, Tucson and San Jose all look to have some cushion. Texas has just one game left against San Diego but 5 left against Stockton. There is a chance for 'four-point games' later in the season, but that doesn't mean tonight's game isn't important to getting there.

Stars injury/call up report:
Honka (call up)
Dowling (questionable)

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