Two years ago at this time, we got to know the Dallas Stars awfully well. (Remember those days? Yeah, I’d rather not either.) Now that things are back to — ahem — normal, we are back to the Stars paying a single annual visit to Raleigh, and for the second straight game, the Hurricanes host a team that holds a somewhat surprising spot in the division standings.
- These two teams last met at PNC Arena in March, a 4-3 Stars win in a shootout. All three Carolina goals were scored by players who are no longer with the club: Nino Niederreiter had a pair, and Vincent Trocheck added one.
- The Stars swept the season series last year, but that was an anomaly in the recent history of these two teams: prior to last year, the Hurricanes were 9-3-1 against Dallas dating back to the 2017-18 season.
- The Hurricanes are on a nine-game point streak, but what might be more amazing for a team that for so long was so middling is that this is the third straight season in which they have recorded a streak of that length. A point tonight would give them their second ten-game point streak in as many years, and only the third since 2005 (!).
- A win today would be Don Waddell’s 500th win as an NHL general manager. Waddell has 191 wins since taking over for Ron Francis prior to the 2018-19 season, and he’s already in third place on the franchise list for wins, just 14 behind Emile Francis. There’s a good chance he’ll finish this year in second place, although he’s got a long way to go to catch Jim Rutherford’s 655 wins at the helm.
- If you haven’t been paying attention to Jason Robertson this season, you’ve missed a real show. His 23 goals are third in the league, trailing only Connor McDavid and the equally surprising Tage Thompson, and he is one of two Stars players (Jamie Benn is the other) to have recorded a point per game in his career against Carolina.
- The Stars play the fourth game of a five-game road trip tonight. They are 2-1 so far, with a loss to the Penguins followed by wins over the Devils and Capitals.