Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Manitoba Moose

Texas Stars
30-26-4-3, 67 pts
#4 Central Division
atManitoba Moose
30-26-3-2, 65 pts
#6 Central Division
March 15th at 7:00 PM
Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB

Update: Landon Bow was recalled to the Dallas Stars on Friday morning. The club has signed ATO Byron Spriggs as emergency backup for Philippe Desrosiers tonight.

The heat is on for the Texas Stars after losing the first of a pair against Manitoba on Wednesday, a game in which the hockey gods spotted them some generous puck luck. The opportunity to put the Moose in the rear view mirror in non-existent at the moment as the Stars will only be able to keep them at bay with a win. A loss would mean that the Moose leap-frogged them in the standings with two games in hand.

(credit: Texas Stars)
The good news for the Stars right now is that they still maintain a modicum of control over the standings while holding onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central. Also, they are getting some great production from their blue line with both Joel Hanley and Gavin Bayreuther picking up goals in Wednesday's game. This was after a three-point performance by Niklas Hansson in Cedar Park last Sunday.

Head coach Derek Laxdal spoke on the importance of getting scoring from the defense corps on Sunday: "It just kind of compliments the whole group. You’ve got [Ben] Gleason, you’ve got Bayreuther. Now if [Hanley] can start jumping in that group and providing some offense, it’s only going to help us down the stretch. We run Gleason [on the second power play unit] with Hansson, and you saw what Hansson’s done this last couple of games on the power play."

In other news, Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop Thursday's game against the Minnesota Wild in the second period with an injury. He did not return and is currently considered day-to-day. Chances are pretty good that Landon Bow will be one of the NHL club's emergency recalls within the coming hours.

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