Dallas (1-0-0) at Nashville (1-0-0)

Cloudy Currently: Nashville, TN
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EDT Sat Oct 11, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After ending the 2002-03 season on a sour note, both the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators wanted to get off to a strong start this season.

Judging by their play in their openers, each club succeeded.

Dallas and Nashville both look to build off their first wins of the season when they meet at Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Dallas finished with the most points in the Western Conference last season, and beat the Edmonton Oilers in six games in the quarterfinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Stars then faced the seventh-seeded Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the semifinals, but they dropped the first two games at home and lost in six games.

Dallas didn’t have to wait long to face Anaheim again as the teams met in their season opener Wednesday. The Stars got two goals from Stu Barnes, and Sergei Zubov added a goal and an assist as Dallas won 4-1.

“There was a lot of pent-up frustration,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said.

Zubov and Barnes beat Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere 30 seconds apart in the opening three minutes to break it open.

Then Zubov made a brilliant pass to set up another goal by Barnes, and Bill Guerin capped the scoring with a breakaway goal midway through the third period.

Dallas goalie Marty Turco downplayed the idea of wanting to prove anything against Giguere, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner who outplayed him in leading the Ducks to the Stanley Cup finals.

“We put that behind us,” Turco said. “Tonight was just a solid win, something we can hopefully build off of.”

Nashville came close to earning its first playoff berth last season, but it faltered down the stretch and ended the season with a 15-game winless skid.

The Predators spent the offseason making changes to their roster, letting go four veteran defensemen and adding three defensemen who never played in the NHL.

Wade Brookbank, Dan Hamhuis and Marek Zidlicky played in their first regular-season games Thursday, helping to lead the Predators to a 3-1 win over Anaheim.

Zidlicky had two assists, 20-year-old Hamhuis became the youngest defenseman to play for Nashville and Brookbank totaled 14 penalty minutes in his debut, including two fighting majors.

“I think everybody wanted to do very well and understood the importance of getting off to a good start and playing well against a very good team,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 9): Stars - 2 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Predators - 2 points, 1st place (tied), Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Barnes, 2 goals; Brenden Morrow, 2 assists; Barnes, Morrow and Zubov, 2 points; Guerin, 7 PIM. Predators - David Legwand, Andreas Johansson and Mark Eaton, 1 goal; Zidlicky, 2 assists and 2 points; Brookbank, 14 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 9): Stars - Power play: 33.3 percent (1 for 3), 5th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (3 for 4), 13th (tied). Predators - Power play: 20.0 percent (1 for 5), 12th. Penalty killing: 100 percent (4 for 4), 1st (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA); Ron Tugnutt (no appearances). Predators - Tomas Vokoun (1-0-0, 1.00); Chris Mason (no appearances).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Predators, 3-1.

LAST MEETING: April 6; Stars, 2-0. At Dallas, Turco’s seventh shutout of the season gave him an NHL-record 1.72 GAA for the season as the Stars clinched the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 0-0-0-0 on the road; Predators - 1-0-0-0 at home.

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