Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Stockton Heat

   Texas Stars                            Stockton Heat
  23-15-4-2, 52 pts, .591     v.     19-14-2-3, 43 pts, .566
#2 Pacific Division                    #4 Pacific Division

January 26th at 7:30 PM CST
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

(credit: Texas Stars)
Update: Jason Dickinson, Dillon Heatherington and Julius Honka will join the Texas Stars for the weekend set against the Stockton Heat. Shane Hanna will head to the Steelheads in a corresponding move.

Andrew Mangiapane and Marek Hrivik have been recalled to the Stockton Heat during the NHL All Star break.

The Texas Stars have a prime opportunity to continue to cement themselves in playoff position with the first game of a back-to-back set against the divisional opponent Stockton Heat. They are coming off a dramatic overtime win against the San Jose Barracuda on Tuesday in which Brian Flynn scored twice late to steal the victory.

Stockton winger Luke Gazdic will make his first return to the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park since he last wore a Texas Stars jersey. The 2007 6th round draft pick of the Dallas Stars played several seasons with Texas and donned the "A" in his final season with the club in 2012-2013.

The Heat continue to be without their two top scorers, Andrew Mangiapane (35 points) and Marek Hrivik (29 points, due to call ups. The Stars have a chance to bury them even further in the standings as the Heat are slumping with a 3-6-0-1 record in their last 10 games.

Meanwhile, the Stars are putting a special run together. They really had no business winning against the Barracuda on Tuesday and dispatched the Manitoba Moose handily in the two games before.

Their center depth has withstood some testing lately. Jason Dickinson remains with the parent club, and Sheldon Dries is dealing with a nagging injury. Travis Morin continues to lead the league with 36 assists, and Stars captain Curtis McKenzie continues to prove that he belongs at the upcoming AHL All Star game with a team-leading 21 goals. Goaltenders Landon Bow and Mike McKenna figure to split the games in net.

Defenseman Dillon Heatherington will head back down to Cedar Park from Dallas while the parent club is on All Star break to play in the weekend set.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM CST.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dickinson, Heatherington (call-up)
Dries (injured, day-to-day)

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Twitter: @AHLHeat