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9:52 pm, Dec 06
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Preview of the Dallas Stars Season Opener

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Dallas Stars line up on the bench. | Image from Wallpaper Cave

The Dallas Stars will kick off the 2021-22 NHL season tonight at the New York Rangers at 6 pm. The Stars will hope to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after finishing sixth in the Central Division and missing last year’s postseason, just one season after winning the Western Conference in 2020.   

Dallas went 3-4 in the preseason, losing their first three games, winning the next three, and losing the seventh. The Stars take on a Rangers team who has already begun their season, losing 5-1 to the Washington Capitals.

Last season, New York finished 27-23-6 and was fifth in the East Division, missing the playoffs by one spot.  

Head coach Rick Bowness is returning for his second full season leading the Stars. Bowness joined as an assistant coach in 2018 but took over midway through the 2019-20 season and led Dallas to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Last year, the Stars finished 23-19-14 and missed the playoffs, with fewer games being played due to COVID-19. Bowness is 43-32-19 as the Stars head coach and 166-321-22 overall as an NHL head coach.   

The Stars will be off from February 2nd-22nd to allow NHL players to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This break could benefit Dallas, who missed the 2018 playoffs by three points after losing four of six games during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.   

The Stars still have yet to decide on a long-term starting goaltender, as four men will be competing for the top spot. In July, Braden Holtby had a career save percentage of .915 and won a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018.

Ben Bishop missed last season with an injury, so the Stars used both Jake Oettinger and Anton Khudobin in the net. Holtby has not let on to any competition between the four goalies.  

“Our job is to go out there, and… as a goal-tending unit, give our team a chance to win every night,” Holtby said in a press conference during the preseason 

Center Tyler Seguin returns for this season after missing most of last season due to hip surgery. In the 2018-19 season, Seguin’s last complete season with the team, he had thirty-three goals and forty-seven assists, the latter tying his career-high.   

You can watch tonight’s game on Bally Sports Southwest.