Preview: Stars open against Devils

October, 7, 2010
10/07/10
10:50
PM CT
Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils
Friday October 8
6 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK

About the Stars

It’s a new era for the Dallas Stars. Mike Modano, the face of the franchise, is gone. So is long time starting goaltender Marty Turco. There’s no Jere Lehtinen either.

“Those guys were my friends and they were here a long time, but we’ve gotten younger and you get that youthful excitement and energy,” said captain Brenden Morrow. “The game has changed; it’s a lot faster paced and more skilled. We believe our young guys possess that and we want to get them the minutes.”

Kari Lehtonen, who will start in goal Friday, takes over as the team’s new No. 1 goaltender this season as the Stars try to get back into the playoffs after missing the postseason the last two years.

Injuries: LW Brenden Morrow (back) and LW Tom Wandell (shoulder) are expected to play.

About the Devils

The Devils have undergone some changes as well. John MacLean will take over behind the bench and the Devils, who feature Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias and Jason Arnott up front, are expected to be more offensive than in past years.

“We’re not going to get away from our defense, but we do have some exciting players,” MacLean told WFAN radio. “We’re excited about our offense and our lines … but to win a championship you have to take care of your own end and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

Martin Brodeur will start in goal for the Devils, who have made the playoffs 13 straight seasons but have been knocked out in the first round each of the last three years.

Due to cap issues, the Devils will go with the minimum 20-man roster to start the season.

Injuries: D Bryce Salvador (concussion) and D Anssi Salmela (knee) are both on LTIR.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the two teams this season.

*The Stars and Devils split two games last season with each team winning at home.

*The Stars have lost five straight games in New Jersey and haven’t won on the road against the Devils since March 15, 2000

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars were 3-2-1 in preseason play.

*Brenden Morrow (3 goals, 1 assist in 3 games) and Matt Niskanen (1 goal, 3 assists in 4 games) led the Stars with 4 points in preseason.

*Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen was 2-0-0 with a 0.75 goals against average and .974 save percentage during the preseason.

*The Devils were 2-1-3 in the preseason.

*Zach Parise (3 goals, 6 assists in 4 games) and Ilya Kovalchuk (3 goals, 4 assists in 5 games) were New Jersey’s top scorers in the preseason.

*New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur was 2-0-0 with a 3.00 goals against average and a .901 save percentage in preseason play.

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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