NHL schedule: The Goose returns and five questions for Stars vs. Ducks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Goligoski will look to impress for Dallas after his healthy scratch on Wednesday.

Each day, we ask five questions that need to be answered during the night of NHL action. Tonight, we've got just one game.

1. How will Alex Goligoski play after his healthy scratch in Edmonton?

Coach Glen Gulutzan's decision to bench the underwhelming defenseman in Edmonton was seen as a head-scratcher by many fans around the league. But the fact is the Stars simply expect more from a guy who they gave up James Neal for, signed to a 4-year, $18.4 million extension and expect to be their number one defenseman for years to come. Dallas relies on Goose's puck movement and offensive facilitation and he hasn't been very good at either so far. So the big question will be whether he comes back from the benching with a newfound drive or a weakened confidence.

2. Will Jonas Hiller take advantage of his opportunity with Viktor Fasth on the bench tonight?

Viktor Fasth was brought in by Anaheim largely to push Hiller to find the level of play he's capable of but hasn't shown the last few seasons. Instead he's essentially pushed Hiller to the bench most nights with some truly impressive performances. Anaheim is giving Fasth the night off and in turn providing Hiller his turn to respond with a good game.

3. Will pairing him with Ben Lovejoy help Bryan Allen play like an actual defenseman for once this season?

Let's just say Bryan Allen's dismal performance this season has drawn ire from the Ducks fanbase. He's struggled to adapt to Bruce Boudreau's system and leads the team with 19 penalty minutes. In what could be seen as a response to his struggles, the Ducks recently acquired Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy for a 5th round pick. Lovejoy is expected to be paired with Allen in his first game with Anaheim, so we'll see if the new partnership makes a difference in Allen's performance.

4. How badly will Loui Eriksson school the Ducks tonight?

Loui Eriksson has feasted on the Ducks in his career, scoring 14 goals and registering 14 assists in just 36 games. Although you'll be hard pressed to find any game where Eriksson doesn't play well, the Swedish winger hasn't found the back of the net since January 29. Will playing the Ducks get him back on the scoresheet?

5. Can the Stars finally outshoot their opponent tonight?

Hard to believe, but the Stars are still the only team in the NHL that hasn't yet outshot an opponent. While they've cut down their shots against from about 35-40 to about 30 a night, Dallas still can't really say that they've totally outplayed an opponent this year. If they want to notch an solid win tonight at home then they'll have to tighten up defensively.
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