The Dallas Stars (10-7-2) have found some success of late thanks in large part to their goaltending. They’ll go for their fifth consecutive victory when they host the Carolina Hurricanes (15-4-1) at American Airlines Center. Three of the Stars’ wins have come against top Western Conference opponents: the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. Goalie Jake Oettinger started all three games, allowing one goal in each. The 22-year-old was recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League on Nov. 13 and is 4-0-0 with a 1. 26 goals-against average and. 959 save percentage in five games (four starts) for the Stars.
Alex Ovechkin will try to become the seventh player in NHL history to score 20 goals in 17 straight seasons and Joe Thornton seeks to move up the NHL points list when the Washington Capitals visit the Florida Panthers. Ovechkin, named the NHL First Star for the week ending Nov. 28, is one goal from joining Marcel Dionne, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin as NHL players who reached the milestone; only Gordie Howe (22) and Brendan Shanahan (19) have done it in more seasons. Thornton, playing the first of his 24 NHL seasons with the Panthers, has scored 1, 532 points (426 goals, 1, 106 assists) and is one away from tying Mark Recchi for 12th place all-time.
Although it’s premature to link the new Jersey Devils with the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one cannot ignore what they accomplished in the first quarter of the season. The Devils (9-6-4) host the San Jose Sharks and they’re among the early contenders for a wild card in the Eastern Conference because forwards Andreas Johnsson, Jesper Bratt and rookie Dawson Mercer have scored a combined 48 points (20 goals, 28 assists), including eight points (three goals, five assists) in a 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Jack Hughes is back in the lineup for New jersey after the center missed 18 games with a dislocated left shoulder. He should provide a boost and help set the Devils up to be a tough team down the stretch, one not to be overlooked.