Monsters Conclude Homestand with Texas

Winless in five games, and without a home victory over their last four contests at Quicken Loans Arena, the Lake Erie Monsters (32-27-3-6) will take to the ice against the last place team in the Western Conference, the Texas Stars (28-34-2-2), tonight at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:00 PM. The game will also air on ESPN 850 WKNR. The Monsters and Stars have had one previous meeting this season; a 4-3 Monsters victory on Student Education Day, February 15.

The Monsters carried a seven-game home win streak from January 28th to March 4th, but since Cameron Gaunce buried the overtime winner on the annual “Pucks & Paws” day, the Monsters haven’t experienced the smoothest of sailing at home. Currently, the Monsters are winless in their last four home games, which includes an inspired 1-0 shootout loss to the North Division-leading Toronto Marlies on Saturday night; their second shootout loss to the Marlies in four days.

Cedrick Desjardins earned his third shutout of the season Saturday, despite the shootout loss. He is 3-3-3 over his last nine starts; a stretch in which he has allowed two goals or fewer seven times. He’s leading the American Hockey League in both goals against average and save percentage, and carries a record of 12-9-3. He has been the key to the points the Monsters have been able to garner during their current scoring drought, as the team has just three goals over its last four games. He will continue to be the biggest key to the Monsters chasing a playoff spot.

The Texas Stars were handed a regulation loss in six consecutive games between March 10th and March 23rd, before their 4-2 victory in Toronto on Sunday. However, Ben Scrivens, the goalie who matched Desjardins save-for-save on Saturday and is top-three in the league in goals against average, was given a much needed day off on Sunday against the Stars. Meanwhile, earning the win for Texas in net was Jack Campbell: the 11th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars. Whether or not Campbell will be seen in net tonight at Quicken Loans Arena is unknown immediately, but he’s a goalie Monsters fans will likely see plenty of into next season, and who hockey fans could see for years to come in Dallas.

Tonight concludes a three-game homestand for the Monsters, who head on the road for three games afterward. Thursday, they will visit the Houston Aeros, and Saturday and Sunday will see the Texas Stars, before returning home to host the Rockford IceHogs for a pair of games on April 6th and 7th. On paper, the Monsters upcoming schedule is more favorable than the recent dose of Toronto and Chicago that the club has endured.

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