Ducks-Stars Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 18, 2011
The Dallas Stars are dissatisfied with how they slipped to end their trip, but the Pacific Division co-leaders have plenty of upcoming home games to find their footing. A matchup against the slumping Anaheim Ducks could help the Stars open that stretch on a positive note. Dallas plays its first home game in more than two weeks Monday night when the Ducks try to snap a franchise-worst 11-game road losing streak. Leading 2-1 in the second period Friday, the Stars (18-12-1) had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 6-3 to New Jersey. "We had an opportunity to make it a great trip, 3-2 doesn't look that great," said captain Brenden Morrow, who led the club with three goals during the trip. "We did have an opportunity to make it a great trip, going 4-1 coast to coast, California to New York. It would have been quite an accomplishment, so we're a pretty disappointed bunch right now." Still, the Stars are tied with San Jose with 37 points, and they don't play back-to-back games - Friday's loss dropped them to 0-6-0 in the back end of such stretches - until Jan. 16 and 17. Dallas, which snapped the Ducks' season-high four-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory in Anaheim on Oct. 21, will try to extend its point streak in this division matchup to six as it begins a stretch of six of seven at home. The Ducks (9-18-5) make their first of three visits to Dallas this season following Saturday's 5-3 loss at Winnipeg. Anaheim has not won on the road since beating Minnesota on Oct. 27. If that is going to change Monday, the club will likely need better goaltending from Jonas Hiller or Dan Ellis. Hiller is 0-5-3 with a 3.23 goals-against average in his last eight road starts, while Ellis fell to 1-5-0 with a 2.79 GAA after giving up a season-worst five goals Saturday. "There was a couple others where I didn't think the goalie did a good job of keeping us in the game when he needed to keep us in the game," said coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team is 2-5-1 since he replaced the fired Randy Carlyle. "They've got to make those saves.'' That's especially true considering the Ducks have scored 17 goals during their road skid. However, Teemu Selanne has been one of the few bright spots for the club, totaling two goals and nine assists during an eight-game point streak. He is two points shy of moving past former Stars great Mike Modano for 22nd all-time with 1,375. In the Ducks' last visit to Dallas, Selanne netted the tying goal with 5.4 seconds left in regulation, and Cam Fowler scored in overtime for a 4-3 Anaheim win March 23. Rookie Richard Bachman could get a fifth consecutive start and make his home debut with Kari Lehtonen sidelined with a groin injury. Dallas backup Andrew Raycroft is 4-1-0 with a 2.89 GAA in five starts against Anaheim. Right wing Loui Eriksson scored twice with an assist Oct. 21, and leads Dallas with 10 goals and 19 points against Anaheim since the start of 2009-10. Coming off a season-best two-goal effort, Ducks right wing Corey Perry will try to find the back of the net in his fourth consecutive game in Dallas.
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