It took the Dallas Stars a minute to get things straight, but they’ve looked much better recently following a slow start. The Stars needed ten games to find their first win in regulation. They finally got it against the Flyers in Philadelphia and then returned home for a 2-1 win over the Senators. That game was less competitive than the final score indicates. Dallas were the clear aggressors and better team in that one. The Senators netted a goal in garbage time with just over a minute remaining to break up a Khudobin shutout.
The Stars outshot the Senators in that one 43-20. The shots were 43-18 before the Senators found the back of the net. Following a late scramble, the clock ran out on Ottawa and the Stars were celebrating back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Their other win came on the road earlier in the month against the Capitals in Washington. They needed overtime to convert that game into a win. Dallas are heading into Thursday with a record of 3-7-1, so there is some catching up to do.
If there’s any good time to go into a slump, I’d say that it’s the beginning of the season when everyone else is trying to find their way as well. The Stars fell short in the playoffs last season with a Game 7 exit against the eventual Stanley Cup Champions. They didn’t sit still in the offseason. Instead, they intended to get better with the signings of Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry.
Despite getting off on the wrong footing, this team is loaded with talent and I don’t think it was the best representation of how good or bad the Stars are. Without a month of action in the books, it’d be foolish to count the Stars out because of their rather anemic record of 3-7-1. The Ducks have average and right around their projections with a record of 6-4-0. This will be the first meeting between the Ducks and Stars since a 6-3 win in December for Anaheim. Head below for our free Ducks vs. Stars pick.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars Pick
There really wasn’t much more the Stars could have done against the Senators. It probably should have been an easy blow out win for them, but they ran into Anders Nilsson who was on fire in the crease. Without Nilsson the Senators didn’t have a shot at keeping up with the Stars in that one. Combined with their victory over the Flyers, the Stars have outscored the opposition by a margin of 6-2 in their last two games. The goals didn’t fall for the Stars against the Sens, but credit the defence for a superb showing. It’s what got them as far as they did last season.
Ben Bishop is likely to be in net for the Stars tonight. He has been solid with a 2.58 GAA and 0.913 save percentage, as he looks to get back to the elite numbers from a season ago. Bishop was a Vezina candidate with a 1.98 GAA and 0.934 save percentage in 2018-19. His numbers against the Ducks in his career have been impressively stunning. Bishop holds a 1.70 GAA and 0.937 save percentage against the Ducks in 12 outings. Conversely, Ducks’ goaltender, John Gibson, hasn’t been too sharp with a 3.08 GAA in eight outings against the Stars.
While the Stars have picked things up recently, the Ducks have struggled in their most recent outings. The Ducks were blasted by a score of 6-1 in Nashville, while dropping a 2-1 decision to the Flames at home a couple of games ago. Anaheim were winners in the last meeting against the Ducks, but Dallas is not a place they like to travel. The Stars have dominated the Ducks in Texas. Note that the Stars are 6-0 against the Ducks in their previous six meetings at home. Dallas appears to be picking things up after struggling out of the gates. They look like the winning side on Thursday night with the Ducks in town.