|Stars eye first home win in '19 vs. Senators|
With the Ottawa Senators still rebuilding, another challenging season was expected. Meanwhile, a rough start was not what the Dallas Stars had in mind.
After concluding their latest trip with a needed victory, the Stars eye their first home win while trying to hand the Senators a fourth straight defeat on Monday night.
With the additions of veterans Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry to a club that reached the Western Conference semifinals last season, Dallas has high hopes for 2019-20. While that hope is far from lost, the Stars have won twice through the first 10 games.
Their latest win came Saturday, 4-1 at Philadelphia to end an 0-4-1 slide. Perry had a goal with two assists for his first points with the team, Roope Hintz scored his sixth and Ben Bishop stopped 38 shots as the Stars concluded a four-game trip.
Dallas has played just three games at home, where it's 0-2-1, but will play their next four at home and six of their next seven.
"It's going to be great to be home, but we've got a short turnaround before (Monday's) game," coach Jim Montgomery told the Stars' official website.
"That's the one that concerns us all right now, because after a long road trip, usually that first game at home, it's a little bit of a sluggish start. But we can't afford a sluggish start. We're behind the eight-ball."
While Hintz (seven points) has fared well, Dallas needs more offensive nights like they had on Saturday. That was only the third time the Stars scored more than two goals. They also managed a power-play goal, their second in 27 chances.
Dallas, though, could be in for a second straight big offensive night against an Ottawa team that has allowed an average of 3.71 goals. The young Senators, who have one win and three points though seven games, were down 4-0 before getting third-period goals from Vladislav Namestnikov (three goals) and Chris Tierney in a 5-2 loss at Arizona on Saturday.
The Senators, who have allowed 13 goals while going 0-2-1 on the road, have been outscored 10-4 during their current 0-2-1 overall stretch. Ottawa has also struggled on the power-play, going 1 for 23 with the man-advantage after finally breaking through Saturday.
"I think it's nice to, you know, finally get (rid of) the goose egg," Tierney told NHL.com of the team's power-play struggles. "You're thinking about it and maybe gripping your stick a little tight. It's about sticking with it every day and coming up with a plan and executing it."
Ottawa's Craig Anderson made saves 22 on Saturday while falling to 1-4-0 with a 3.26 goals-against average this season. He made a whopping 48 saves in last season's 6-4 loss at Dallas that ended the Senators' five-game winning streak in this series.
Stars backup Anton Khudobin, 0-3-0 with a 3.42 goals-against average this season, made 29 saves in that contest. Bishop, 2-4-1 with a 2.57 goals-against average in 2019-20, has yielded six goals in his last two starts versus Dallas.
Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen has three goals already this season. He had two goals in last season's home win over Ottawa. The Senators' Brady Tkachuk also scored in that game, but he does not have a goal since scoring in each of the first two in 2019-20.
--Field Level Media