Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Stockton Heat

Texas Stars
29-30-1-4, 63 pts, 0.492
#6 Pacific Division
v.Stockton Heat
27-25-4-1, 59 pts, 0.518
#5 Pacific Division
March 24th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Stockton was on a cool streak last time the Stars played them but their fortunes have turned around since. Their two wins against Texas in late February kicked off a 6-3 run that has put them in tight with Bakersfield for the final playoff spot in the Pacific. If you include the Texas games and the intervening Bako game, it's 8-4.

Key to the turnaround has been the return of their offense. Each of their wins since they played Texas has come when they've scored at least three goals. In fact, they've scored 4 goals of more seven times during the run, including the two games against Texas.

So the key is clearly to limit the goals. I mean, isn't that the case every night? If the Stars can do what they did against Cleveland last Friday or in the first two periods of Saturday's game, they'll have a chance here.

I'll also add that the start is important. With Wednesday's win, Texas climbed to 23-7-0-2 when scoring first.

Texas needs every point now. The number of wins they need drops if San Diego can beat up on Bakersfield this weekend, but they still need to win their own games. If everything holds, they'll need a 10-2 mark in their last 12 games.

Stars injury/call up report:
Elie (call up)

Twitter: @ahlheat