Dallas Stars (12-13-5) at Calgary Flames (17-14-2)
|Date & Time||Friday December 19, 2014, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Calgary Flames -121 / Dallas Stars +110 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Stars look to build on their impressive shut out win over the Canucks in their last outing as they head into Calgary to take on the slumping Flames.
The Dallas Stars earned perhaps their biggest victory of the season on Wednesday night as they blanked the Vancouver Canucks on the road and the win wasn't special just because of the quality of the opponent but the Stars earned a shut out in the most necessary of times. Dallas has been the league's worst team defensively for most of this season and were just recently surpassed by the Edmonton Oilers for that claim but for a team that was expected to not only make the playoffs but to make a push for the Stanley Cup it wasn't a great resume builder to have the league's worst defense as part of their work. Dallas remains a game under the .500 mark and are still second to last in the Central division but they are moving in the right direction and with a win in Calgary on Friday night they can move to within three points of the Wild for fifth. Kari Lehtonen will get the start as he will go up against Jonas Hiller.
The Flames were the talk of the NHL just a few short weeks ago as they had defied every preseason projection handed out to them with a strong start but a six game losing skid has pundits smiling as the Flames are tanking in the Pacific division. The Flames are still very much in the mix in the playoff push and there is still plenty of hockey left to be played but if they fall short of that bench mark than this current slide will definitely come up in conversation as a back breaker and with the Stars tonight and Vancouver tomorrow it is tough to say just how long the skid could go. The Flames have had a ton of production out of the back end this season as both Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie have been stellar but the Flames need to generate more from their actual forwards and against a Stars side who is susceptible to allowing a flood of goals this could be a great time for a breakout. I am worried a tad about the Saturday show down with Vancouver as a look ahead spot for the Flames but they need to end this skid in a big way and I like them to do it here at home.