Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
25-21-3-2, 55 pts
#6 Central Division
atIowa Wild
27-16-5-4, 63 pts
#2 Central Division
February 19th at 7:00 PM
Wells Fargo Center, Des Moines, IA

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The lone game in the AHL this evening finds the Texas Stars on the road against the Iowa Wild. Texas comes into the contest having dropped out of playoff position and just two points ahead of last place in the division. The rising fortunes of the San Antonio Rampage and Manitoba Moose have given way to an absurd race for fourth place in the Central. Just five points separates a playoff team from the last spot in the table.

The Wild come into the game on a five-game point streak, albeit limpingly. They lost Saturday in the shootout 5-4 after leading against Rockford. Sunday they fell in OT against Chicago. Nevertheless, they are the only club in the AHL with a top five power play and penalty kill at home. They've also scored a league-leading 106 goals at home this season. Point being: this is a tough two points to get at Wells Fargo Center.

That toughness is amplified by the struggles Texas has found on the road. Texas still owns the #4 road power play and #10 road penalty kill, so special teams isn't a sore spot there. It's sure to be interesting when either team goes to the box.

It's unclear if Colton Point will get a start any time soon. The rookie hasn't earned the confidence of this coaching staff, and Philippe Desrosiers has been playing more confidently himself in these past few weeks. Regular starts have given him a chance to fit into a groove. While he may not have a future in Dallas, the rest of the AHL season could set him up very nicely for a prove-it NHL or AHL deal next year.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Markison (lower body)
Laberge (upper body)
Fedun, Hintz, Bow, L'Esperance (call up)