Bill Meltzer: Stars Gameday: 11/11/14 @ ARI; Gonchar Dealt to Montreal for Moen



The Stars have traded 40-year-old veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for 32-year-old checking left winger Travis Moen. The forward is being added to assist on the penalty kill and to bring some size and grit along the walls.

Gonchar, who missed the first month of the season with an ankle injury, played in the last three games for the Stars and recorded one assist.

The trade opens a spot for callup John Klingberg or another young defenseman in the system to see if he can take hold of a regular starting job. PREVIEW: STARS AT COYOTES

Needing a win to put an end to a winless streak that has grown to seven games (0-5-2), Lindy Ruff’s Dallas Stars (4-6-4) are on the road tonight to take on Dave Tippett’s Arizona Coyotes (6-7-1). Game time is 8 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest Plus.

This is the first of three meetings this season between the teams. Last season, the Stars won two of three against the Coyotes.

The Stars are coming off a disheartening regulation loss to San Jose on Saturday that dropped Dallas’ home record to 1-3-4 on the season and extended the current winless skid. Things went fine for two periods, as the Stars built a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for Dallas, the club’s season-long third period woes reared its head again and the club went on give up four unanswered goals to lose, 5-3.

Entering tonight’s game, Dallas has been outscored by a 21-9 margin in third periods.

Dallas is still dealing with some injury issues. Third-line center Cody Eakin (upper body) has missed the last two games and is questionable for tonight. He participated in practice yesterday. Valeri Nichushkin had a setback with the hip/groin issue that has plagued him since training camp and is out for tonight. Defenseman Alex Goligoski has been dealing with a nagging injury for weeks. He took a maintenance day yesterday but is expected to play tonight.

The Stars recalled defense prospect John Klingberg from the AHL’s Texas Stars. There is a good chance he makes his NHL debut tonight. He was paired with Jordie Benn at practice. Jamie Oleksiak was the seventh defenseman at practice yesterday, per Stars Inside Edge writer Mark Stepneski.

The Stars often go as far as Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Kari Lehtonen take them. Lehtonen will return to the nets tonight. Team captain Benn registered an assist in the San Jose game to snap a four-game pointless stretch but has not scored a goal in seven games despite firing 28 shots on goal over that span. Seguin broke loose for a hat trick in the San Jose game after snapping a three-game pointless run with an assist in the last Nashville game.

Agitating forward Antoine Roussel escaped suspension from the NHL but was assessed a fine for the sucker-punching incident in the San Jose game. He will be in the lineup tonight.

Arizona is coming off a frustrating home loss of its own on Saturday. The Coyotes and New York Islanders were locked in a 0-0 deadlock with just 2:31 remaining in regulation before the Islanders’ Frans Nielsen tallied the game’s only goal. Mike Smith made 32 saves in a losing cause.

While the Stars have had big problems in third periods, the Coyotes have had issues with slow starts. Entering tonight’s game, Arizona has been outscored by a 19-9 margin in first periods. Overall, defenseman Keith Yandle leads the team offensively with 11 points while forward Mikkel Boedker’s five tallies paces the squad in the goal scoring department.

On the Arizona injury front, David Moss (upper body) is unavailable to play tonight.

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