Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Stockton Heat

  Texas Stars                            Stockton Heat
  19-14-4-1, 43 pts, .566      at     17-11-2-3, 39 pts, .591
#5 Pacific Division                    #2 Pacific Division

January 12th at 9:00 PM CST
Stockton Arena, Stockton, CA

(credit: Texas Stars)

Beginning with the first of a weekend pair against the Stockton Heat, the Texas Stars are looking to rebound after their 2-1 overtime loss to the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday night--a tough start to their six-game road trip. As a matter of fact, everything has been tough for these Stars lately, evidenced by their putrid 2-4-4 record in their last 10 games.

Their are a couple of bright spots to look to for solace. First, the Stars are completely healthy for the first time in a while. Outside of Thursday's acquisition of depth defenseman Michael Paliotta, they will have their full compliment of players available, including the increasingly important third leading scorer Brian Flynn (21 pts).

The other reason for optimism is the timing in which they are playing the Stockton Heat. Though the Heat sit in second place in the Pacific division, they haven't exactly been lighting it up either with a an equally piteous record in their last 10 (3-4-2-1). These games take on another layer of importance with the Stars having a chance to put a dent in the win percentage of a division foe while they try to play catch-up.

To help their cause, the Heat's two high scoring horses, Andrew Mangiapane (33 pts) and Marek Hrivik (29 pts), are currently bolstering the depth of the parent club Calgary Flames. It'll be interesting to see who carries the offensive load for the Heat. Landon Bow likely draws the start after being spelled by Mike McKenna on Wednesday night. In the opposite crease will be John Gillies (.918 SV%).

The puck drops at 9:00 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:

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Twitter: @AHLHeat