Game Preview #7: Nashville Predators Visit Dallas Stars

By Amanda DiPaolo

Season Record

Predators 3-0-3
Stars 5-1-0

The Nashville Predators go on the road Saturday for back to back games against the Dallas Stars and then the Tampa Bay Lightening on Sunday afternoon.

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 14: Right wing Joel Ward #29 of the Nashville Predators skates the puck past Stephane Robidas #3 of the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on October 14, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
One key to the Predators success on Saturday night will be the effectiveness of the Ward-Legwand-Tootoo line (Photo:Yardbarker.com)

Nashville has lost three straight games in overtime after winning their first three games in regulation. Dallas has a 5-1-0 record and is one of the hottest teams in the league.

Last year, Dallas won the season series with a 2-1-1 record against the Predators. In four games, Dallas only allowed 8 goals. With Marty Turco moving on to Chicago, it will be interesting to see if the Stars maintain that level of defense. Kari Lehtonen is now the starting goaltender for the Stars. Andrew Raycroft is the backup.

Playing Dallas on the road is not one of Nashville’s best venues. The Predators are 5-16-1 since their first season, but are an even 3-3-0 since the start of the 2007-08 season. To make matters more difficult for Nashville, they are going to Texas battered and bruised. Dallas has no listed injuries. Ryan Suter, Matthew Lombardi and Marcel Goc will miss the game for the Predators.

The one line to watch for Nashville is the shutdown line of David Legwand, Joel Ward, and the surprisingly effective, Jordin Tootoo. Because of the injuries, even more responsibility to play smart defensively will be placed on the shoulders of these three Predators. David Legwand already has four points on the season (2 goals and 2 assists). A year ago, Legwand had a much slower start. It took Legwand 19 games to score twice.

If Nashville is going to beat a tough Dallas squad, the penalty kill will have to be executed as it was against the Penguins on Thursday night, perfect. Whoever starts in goal, Pekka Rinne or Anders Lindback, will have to be sharp and if the Predators have a lead in the third period, they have to find a way to hang on and avoid a fourth straight overtime.

Game time is 7pm CT, but is not televised. Follow @Predlines on Twitter for during the game, live updates. Predlines will be in Dallas at the American Airlines Center.

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