National Hockey League
Preview
Nashville at Dallas
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 9, 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

Although many paths are in play, the Dallas Stars look to take the most direct route toward winning their first division title in 10 years and home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. Dallas can reach that destination on Saturday with a home win over the Central Division-rival Nashville Predators in the season finale for both clubs.

"Right now, it's winning a game for us, that's really the only thing that counts," Stars coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas Morning News. "... We've got one game left, it's a game we want to win." A winner of eight of its last 10, Dallas is even in points with St. Louis but holds the tiebreaker based on regulation plus overtime wins. While Ruff's club is still jockeying for position, Nashville remains entrenched as the seventh seed and will face the Pacific Division champion - either Los Angeles or Anaheim - in the first round of the playoffs. The Predators have answered a four-game slide with consecutive one-goal victories over both Colorado and Arizona.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), FSN Southwest-Plus (Dallas), NHL.TV

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (41-26-14): Filip Forsberg has scored in back-to-back contests to match Jason Arnott's franchise-best total of 33 goals. "It's pretty impressive," captain Shea Weber told the team's website of the 21-year-old Swede. "He's a special player, special talent as all of you guys know. We're fortunate to have him on our team. You forget how young he is sometimes and how much he's going to keep getting better, how much he's going to keep growing." Speaking of Weber, the defenseman collected a goal and two assists in Nashville's 5-3 victory over Dallas on March 1.

ABOUT THE STARS (49-23-9): Captain Jamie Benn has recorded 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his last 15 games, highlighted by a two-goal performance in Dallas' 3-1 victory over Nashville on March 29. Veteran forward Jason Spezza also tallied in that contest, but missed Thursday's 4-2 victory over Colorado due to illness. Defenseman Jason Demers joined Spezza as a full participant at practice on Friday, prompting Ruff to tell the team website that both are "available to play" versus the Predators.

OVERTIME

1. Dallas has scored four power-play goals in its last four games and thwarted 28-of-29 short-handed situations over the last nine.

2. Nashville G Pekka Rinne owns a 7-2-0 mark in his last nine decisions.

3. The Stars sent C Jason Dickinson to Texas of the American Hockey League on Friday, one day after the 20-year-old scored in his NHL debut.

PREDICTION: Stars 4, Predators 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Nashville 41-26-12-2 W2 23-11-5-2 18-15-7-0 2-1-2-0 39-25-10-2 12-13-3-0
Dallas 49-23-7-2 W1 27-11-2-0 22-12-5-2 6-2-0-0 43-21-7-2 18-7-2-1
Last Meeting
Nashville Dallas
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/29/16 NAS 2 DAL 5 30 20 1-3 25 28 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Nashville V. Arvidsson 1
Dallas J. Benn 2
Goals Player  
Nashville V. Arvidsson 1
Dallas J. Benn 2
Assists Player  
Nashville R. Johansen 1
Dallas A. Goligoski 2
Saves Player  
Nashville P. Rinne 20
Dallas K. Lehtonen 28
Season
Total Points Player  
Nashville F. Forsberg 67
Dallas J. Benn 88
Goals Player  
Nashville F. Forsberg 35
Dallas J. Benn 41
Assists Player  
Nashville R. Josi 50
Dallas J. Klingberg 49
Saves Player  
Nashville P. Rinne 1662
Dallas A. Niemi 1157
Quickchart Matchup
Nashville Off vs  Dallas Def
2.74 GF
2.79 GA
30.6 Shots
28.9 Shots
50 PP
43 PK
Dallas Off vs  Nashville Def
3.23 GF
2.59 GA
32.1 Shots
27.4 Shots
57 PP
45 PK