Friday, January 17, 2014

Game Preview: Texas Stars at Charlotte Checkers

Here's a preview of tonight's 7 p.m. game between the Stars and Checkers. 

STARS (24-10-5)

Against Charlotte: 1-1

Standings: Second in the West Conference (18 points up on the Checkers)

Streak: W 3

Special Teams: PP 29.3% (1st) PK 86.9% (4th)

Scoring leader: Travis Morin 50 points (23g, 27a in 33 games)

Other notes: The Stars, who split a two game set with Charlotte on Jan 2-3,  have four of the AHL’s top 10 scorers this season in Travis Morin (50 points), Colton Sceviour (40), Chris Mueller (34) and rookie Curtis McKenzie (33). ... Both Morin and Sceviour were named to this year's AHL All-Star team. ... The Stars have won six of their last seven games and hold a one point edge over Abbotsford for the top spot in the West Division.  

CHECKERS (17-18-1)

Standings: 11th in the Western Conference (seven points out of the final playoff spot)

Streak: W 3

Special Teams: PP 23.3% (3rd) PK 80.4% (t-21st)

Scoring leader: Aaron Palushaj 32 points (10g, 22a in 36 games)

Other notes: A win on Friday would bring the Checkers to .500 on the season for the first time since Nov. 7. … The Hurricanes returned Zach Boychuk and Brett Sutter to Charlotte on Saturday and both are expected to play. Boychuk recorded four points in nine games in Raleigh, while Sutter notched two in five appearances … After missing two games with an infection, newly acquired Greg Nemisz should be back, as well as rookie defenseman Danny Biega, who has missed the past 11 games. … Likely out for Checkers: Sean Dolan, Nicolas Blanchard (likely out two weeks), Jared Staal.

*It's sounding like there's a reasonable chance Time Warner Cable Arena sells out tonight. 

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