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Morning Skate: Game 81 vs. Dallas

7:00 PM CT – Stars (42-33-5) @ Predators (46-26-8)

Players to watch:
DAL- Steve Ott
The ultra-pest is always a player to watch when the Stars come to town. He’s a key player for them and he dished out nine hits on Tuesday.
NSH- Alexander Radulov
Radulov has certainly been a difference-maker in the Preds lineup on both ends of the ice.

Projected starting goaltenders:
DAL- Kari Lehtonen (2011-12 stats: 32-21-4, 2.34 GAA)
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2011-12 stats: 42-18-8, 2.43 GAA)

Injury report:
DAL- Tom Wandell (illness, questionable), Radek Dvorak (ankle, questionable)
NSH- Pekka Rinne (illness, probable)

Keys to the game:
DAL- Stay out of the box… In a must-win scenario, the Stars have to limit the time they are shorthanded. They’ve been shorthanded 13 times in the last three games, surrendering three power play goals. And needless to say, they are facing the NHL’s top power play unit tonight.
NSH- Kill the Stars’ psyche… The Stars’ season hangs in the balance tonight, as a regulation loss puts an end to their playoff hopes. This is a team that has lost three in a row in must-win games. With two games left before the playoffs, the Preds want to play better. A quick start would be beneficial against a desperate team with their season on the ropes.

Numbers to know:
- The Preds are 25-10-5 at home this season … Dallas is 20-18-2 on the road.
- The Preds are 10-8-1 against the Pacific Division this season … Dallas is 8-9-1 against the Central.
- This is the fourth and final meeting of the season. The Stars have won two of the three meetings, including Jan. 5 in Nashville.
- All-time, the Preds are 13-11-1 at home against the Stars, who have not swept a both games in Nashville in a single season since 2000-01.
- In playoff seasons, the Preds are 5-1 in their home finales. All-time, the Preds are 6-5-1 in home finales.
- Pekka Rinne is 4-4-0 with a 2.88 GAA and .890 save percentage in 10 career games vs. the Stars. His likely counterpart, Kari Lehtonen, is 5-3-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .928 save percentage in 8 career games vs. Nashville.
- Colin Wilson has 6 points in his last 7 games vs. Dallas.
- Power play rankings: Nashville (21.9%, 1st) … Dallas (14.0%, 30th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (83.3%, 10th) … Dallas (83.1%, 13th)

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