Dallas gets two power plays early and looks pretty good on both.
Stephane Robidas blasts a point shot under Ty Conklin's glove on the second power play for a 1-0 lead at the 5:36 mark.
Krys Barch has already had a fight with Cam Janssen.
Brett Hull became first player to be honored in the Stars' new ``Walk of Legends.'' It will honor Stars players with plaques at AAC and in Frisco.
It's a neat plan, as players don't have to have their numbers retired to be honored. This opens the door for players like Ed Belfour, Derian Hatcher and Joe Nieuwendyk, who weren't lifetime Stars.
This was a nice ceremony, as Hull came out carrying the Stanley Cup, and he was allowed to be honored by the fans, really for the first time since he left the team to join the Red Wings. He gave a lot of the credit to the fans and his teammates, and he pointed out Eddie Belfour (a goalie coach with the Blues), Darryl Sydor (a defenseman with the Blues), Doug Armstrong, (an assistant GM with the Blues), as well as Joe Nieuwendyk, Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen.
Just like with his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, Hull was humble and thankful. It was a good moment for Stars fans.
Karlis Skrastins gave me the thumbs up in Latvian (I had to translate), so he appears to be over his upper body injury and ready to play tonight.
Niklas Grossman (groin) could probably go, but is being held out.
My guess is the pairs will be:
It would interesting to see Maxime Fortunus and Mark Fistric as a pair. They were great in the AHL playoff last year. Fortunus was very excited about the calll-up _ it's the first in his career. He is 26 and has spent the last five seasons in the minors. He's a very smart, very solid defenseman who has been great with the Texas Stars, and he and Fistric were paired together and helped Manitoba to the AHL finals last season.
As for the forwards, James Neal returns, so your lines will probably be:
Brian Sutherby (groin) is on IR and Fabian Brunnstrom is on a conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars. By the way, the Texas Stars play host to the Milwaukee Admirals tonight and Friday. The Admirals are the AHL affiliate for Nashville. Here's the preview.
Marty Turco in goal for the fourth consecutive game. His previous high this season was three (and that happened only once, Oct. 11-16).
The Dallas Stars organization _ from owner Tom Hicks to the players _ will honor Brett Hull tonight before the game for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hull, who is third all-time in regular season goals scored at 741 and scored the most important goal in Stars history in Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame two weeks ago. He was a member of the Flames, Blues, Stars, Red Wings and Coyotes, and he has already had his number retired by the Blues (thus the reason for doing it tonight against St. Louis). Hull currently serves as executive vice president and alternate governor of the Stars, and that's why the Stars want to express their pride and also allow the fans to share in Hull's Hall of Fame moment.
Yes, he was ``reassigned'' from his co-GM position after last season by owner Tom Hicks and was replaced by Joe Nieuwednyk, and it will be odd that both are honoring him now, but you have to know Hull to understand that there is no animosity there. Hull has always been a controversial figure in the game, but he's also been very good at separating business from fun. This is fun. This is an organization actually saying thanks for letting them be a part of the ride.
I really enjoyed Hull's Hall of Fame acceptance speech, and I think that's the spirit the Stars are hoping will be conveyed tonight.
The game is on Versus and is an early start. The team asks fans to be in their seats by 6:50 p.m. The presentation starts at 6:55 p.m.
My guess is Versus will cover some of the ceremony, but the Stars radio broadcast also will cover all of it if you want to listen.
Several people were talking last week about how the schedule had not really allowed the Stars to create an momentum at home, and I think that was true.
They would play two at home and go on the road, one at home and then go on the road.
But either they're progressing or maturing or the schedule really is helping them now, because this was a team that had some consistency to it.
And the funny thing is that Carolina did not make it easy on the Stars. The Hurricanes looked a lot like the Stars from last season _ injured, not as talented and a little frustrated, but also pretty determined to play professionally. So the Stars had to really stay on task to get this win.
Marty Turco was very good, because that was the kind of game where one slip could change everything. He is not as technically sound as he probably wants to be, but he seems to have his swagger back and I think that's important for a goalie. Sometimes, you don't know how he comes up with a save, but you just have to appreciate that it's how he plays the position.
Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott were very physical and very engaged, and that also made a difference. That was one of the reasons the Stars gained eight power plays. It's a fine line to walk, and I'm still not sure that's the best way for the Stars to play, but they were aggressive, they were on the right side of the line, and they definitely fired up the crowd and the rest of the team.
Not unlike pretty much every game the Stars have played, this one had a lull. It came at the beginning of the second period, and it looked like it might cost Dallas. But when the Hurricanes had a goal called off for the distinct kicking motion, that seemed to wake the Stars up as to just how close they were to frittering away a hard-earned 1-0 lead.
On one side, it's frustrating that the Stars need these moments in a game to raise their play. They did the same thing when New Jersey tied the game in the third period Saturday. On the other side, it's good that the Stars have another gear, that they can step it up when they need to.
The Blues have been under fire from management and are coming off a 4-2 loss to Boston on Monday. They will be a motivated team on Wednesday night. It's another challenge for the Stars, and another chance to see how this team reacts. James Neal will be back, and the lines will be shuffled again.
It will be interesting to see if the Stars can carry this momentum forward.