Preview: Nashville at Dallas

When: 8:00 PM  ET, Saturday, April 9, 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Matchup Edge
NAS Edge in: DAL
Offense
Defense
Power Play
Penalty Kill
Face Offs
Discipline
Goaltending


Although many paths are in play, the Dallas Stars look to take the most direct route toward winning their first division title in 10 years and home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. Dallas can reach that destination on Saturday with a home win over the Central Division-rival Nashville Predators in the season finale for both clubs.

"Right now, it's winning a game for us, that's really the only thing that counts," Stars coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas Morning News. "... We've got one game left, it's a game we want to win." A winner of eight of its last 10, Dallas is even in points with St. Louis but holds the tiebreaker based on regulation plus overtime wins. While Ruff's club is still jockeying for position, Nashville remains entrenched as the seventh seed and will face the Pacific Division champion - either Los Angeles or Anaheim - in the first round of the playoffs. The Predators have answered a four-game slide with consecutive one-goal victories over both Colorado and Arizona.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), FSN Southwest-Plus (Dallas), NHL.TV

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (41-26-14): Filip Forsberg has scored in back-to-back contests to match Jason Arnott's franchise-best total of 33 goals. "It's pretty impressive," captain Shea Weber told the team's website of the 21-year-old Swede. "He's a special player, special talent as all of you guys know. We're fortunate to have him on our team. You forget how young he is sometimes and how much he's going to keep getting better, how much he's going to keep growing." Speaking of Weber, the defenseman collected a goal and two assists in Nashville's 5-3 victory over Dallas on March 1.

ABOUT THE STARS (49-23-9): Captain Jamie Benn has recorded 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his last 15 games, highlighted by a two-goal performance in Dallas' 3-1 victory over Nashville on March 29. Veteran forward Jason Spezza also tallied in that contest, but missed Thursday's 4-2 victory over Colorado due to illness. Defenseman Jason Demers joined Spezza as a full participant at practice on Friday, prompting Ruff to tell the team website that both are "available to play" versus the Predators.

OVERTIME

1. Dallas has scored four power-play goals in its last four games and thwarted 28-of-29 short-handed situations over the last nine.

2. Nashville G Pekka Rinne owns a 7-2-0 mark in his last nine decisions.

3. The Stars sent C Jason Dickinson to Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday, one day after the 20-year-old scored in his NHL debut.

PREDICTION: Stars 4, Predators 3

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Nashville 41-26-12-2 W2 23-11-5-2 18-15-7-0 2-1-2-0 39-25-10-2 12-13-3-0
Dallas 49-23-7-2 W1 27-11-2-0 22-12-5-2 6-2-0-0 43-21-7-2 18-7-2-1

Last Meeting

Nashville Dallas
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/29/16 NAS 2 DAL 5 30 20 1-3 25 28 0-4

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NAS V. Arvidsson 1
DAL J. Benn 2
Goals Player  
NAS V. Arvidsson 1
DAL J. Benn 2
Assists Player  
NAS R. Johansen 1
DAL A. Goligoski 2
Saves Player  
NAS P. Rinne 20
DAL K. Lehtonen 28
Season
Total Points Player  
NAS F. Forsberg 63
DAL J. Benn 88
Goals Player  
NAS F. Forsberg 33
DAL J. Benn 41
Assists Player  
NAS R. Josi 47
DAL J. Benn 47
Saves Player  
NAS P. Rinne 1583
DAL A. Niemi 1100

Quickchart Matchup

Nashville Off vs  Dallas Def
2.74 GF
2.79 GA
30.6 Shots
28.9 Shots
50 PP
43 PK
Dallas Off vs  Nashville Def
3.23 GF
2.59 GA
32.1 Shots
27.4 Shots
57 PP
45 PK

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Nashville Overall Dallas
41-26-12-2 W/L 49-23-7-2
33-48 ATS 41-40
33-32 O/U 45-35
2.74 Goals For 3.23
2.59 Goals Agnst 2.79
Nashville A/H Dallas
18-15-7-0 W/L 27-11-2-0
17-23 ATS 18-22
15-16 O/U 22-18
2.40 Goals For 3.32
2.85 Goals Agnst 2.62
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