Road-challenged Preds visit Dallas
The Nashville Predators begin a five-game road trip on Tuesday night having not won as the visiting team in over a month.
That much-needed road win got a bit harder to obtain when Colin Wilson was placed on injured reserve, leaving the Preds without their leading scorer for a matchup with the Dallas Stars.
Wilson is tops on Nashville with seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points, but suffered an upper body injury in Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild. Wilson's injury came one game after Patric Hornqvist suffered an upper body injury of his own and both players landed on IR Monday.
To replace the two, Nashville activated winger Brandon Yip from IR and recalled forward Matt Halischuk from the AHL. Yip had missed the previous three games due to an upper body injury.
Wilson had two goals and four points in a 6-0 win over Edmonton on Friday, but left the Wild game after the first period.
Pekka Rinne made 28 saves in the loss to the Wild and was beaten twice in the shootout. David Legwand failed to extend the extra session in the third round after scoring in regulation.
"It was a good game today but we have to find ways to try and win these," said Rinne. "I was seeing the puck well, just let that one get by and that cost us."
Nashville lost for the fourth time in five games and has also dropped eight of its past 11. The bulk of those setbacks have come on the road, where the Predators have lost six in a row and haven't won since Feb. 5. They are just 4-7-2 on the road this season.
Dallas, meanwhile, begins a string of four straight at home on Tuesday, but could also be down a few men as well. Captain Brenden Morrow is day-to-day after missing Saturday's 2-1 loss in Phoenix with a strained groin, while Jaime Benn left that contest late with a wrist injury.
Benn, a 26-goal scorer last season, did not practice on Monday, leaving his status for this game up in the air. The center has six goals and 16 points in 19 games this season.
Winger Ray Whitney hasn't played for Dallas since Feb. 2 due to a broken foot, but was able to practice on Monday and could be close to returning as soon as Tuesday.
Dallas could use the boost after being held to just a Jaromir Jagr goal versus the Coyotes. Jagr did score a goal in his fourth straight game, with five tallies in that span.
Kari Lehtonen allowed both goals on 21 shots for the Stars, who failed to score despite 1:29 of 5-on-3 power-play time in the third period.
"Some nights it's not going to go in but when you have a 5-on-3 in the third as long as the one we had and you don't score, it's tough," said Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas.
The Stars lost to the Predators for a third straight time on Feb. 25, falling 5-4 in overtime on the road in the first of three meetings this season. Nashville's Roman Josi scored his second goal of the game while on a power play 28 seconds into overtime.
The Preds, though, have lost five of their past eight in Dallas.