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Stars look to beat Predators for third time this season

Dec 19, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Daniil Tarasov (40) makes a save against Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (24) in the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars have certainly had their way with the Nashville Predators this season.

The Stars are aiming for a third consecutive victory over the Predators while also looking to extend their season-high road point streak to five games in the matchup on Tuesday night.

Dallas went into the NHL’s Christmas break with 46 points, leading the Central Division. The Stars are in a 6-2-1 stretch after overcoming a 2-0 hole during Friday’s 4-2 home victory over Montreal.

Roope Hintz scored twice to raise his goal total to 16. Jason Robertson, who has just one goal in his last 10 contests, added two assists to reach the 50-point mark in 35 games, and rookie Wyatt Johnston posted his 10th goal of the season for Dallas, which has five players with at least 10 goals and four posting 30 or more points.

“The guys who are supposed to score have scored, and we’ve gotten some depth scoring,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “We’ve gotten contributions from a lot of people.”

Six players have at least one goal for the Stars as they’ve outscored Nashville 9-2 to win both the previous meetings. Three of Mason Marchment’s nine goals have come versus Nashville this season, while Hintz recorded two goals with two assists. Robertson posted one of his 24 goals, plus three assists, and Johnston scored once.

Dallas’ Jake Oettinger has a 2.14 goals-against average in his last six starts, and has stopped 60 of 62 shots in the two games versus Nashville. Backup Scott Wedgewood owns a 3.03 GAA in 13 games this season, but in his most recent appearance, he gave up five goals in 38 shots during a 5-4 overtime loss to Carolina in Raleigh, N.C., on Dec. 17.

The Stars are amid a 3-0-1 stretch on the road.

The Predators are sixth in the Central with 33 points, but they’re 2-0-1 in their last three games following an 0-4-2 slide.

Despite blowing a 2-0 lead during Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to visiting Colorado to fall to 1-2-1 in its last four home contests, Nashville is pleased with the progress it’s made of late.

“We’re playing much better,” said forward Matt Duchene, who’s amid a four-game goal streak. “We’re still right there. So, we’ve got to string some together. We know that, and we’re looking for a big new year here.”

Duchene, who has 10 goals on the season and is also amid a five-game point streak, was blanked in the previous two contests with Dallas this season, and has an assist for his only point in his last four games against the Stars.

Nashville’s Juuse Saros has a 2.10 GAA during his last six starts and has made at least 30 saves in four of those contests. He allowed four goals in each of the two meetings with the Stars this season.

Predators backup Kevin Lankinen, who last started on Dec. 13, has stopped 79 of the 85 shots he’s faced in his last two games.

–Field Level Media