NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, January 24th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (18-22-7) at Dallas Stars (24-21-2), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Their longest point streak in over three years has the
Ducks making up some ground in the Western Conference. In fact, it might not
be too long until they pass the struggling Stars.
Anaheim aims for a sixth straight victory tonight against a Dallas club that
has matched its longest losing streak of the season.
While the Ducks still sit 13th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference,
their 8-0-1 run -- their longest point streak since another 8-0-1 burst from
Oct. 21-Nov. 5, 2008 -- has pulled them to within seven points of Phoenix and
Dallas for the 11th spot in the conference standings. The Stars have lent the
Ducks a hand by dropping five in a row for the second time this season.
Anaheim kept its streak going on Sunday with a 3-2 decision over Colorado.
Bobby Ryan scored twice and Jonas Hiller made 43 saves to bail out a Ducks
squad that was outshot 45-18.
"I'm happy about the win, even though it wasn't our best game and it wasn't
pretty," said Hiller, who has a 1.33 goals-against average over his past six
games. "We found a way. We'll take those two points. Everybody knows we can
play better and have to if we want to win on Tuesday."
Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who have won five
straight for the first time since a six-game run from Nov. 3-12 of last
The Stars are going in the opposite direction, having scored just six goals
over a five-game slide. Two of those came on Saturday in a 5-2 loss at
Minnesota that saw momentum switch in a hurry in the second period.
Dallas led 2-1 with 8:57 to play in the middle stanza on goals by Eric Nystrom
and Philip Larsen -- the first of Larsen's career in his 28th game -- before
the Wild set a club record by scoring three times over a 59-second span.
"We just didn't get the bounces tonight," said Nystrom. "The game could have
went either way, but in a matter of minutes everything went against us. They
got some quick ones and that was it."
Kari Lehtonen gave up four goals on 19 shots in the loss for the Stars, who
also dropped five straight from Nov. 11-19 and will try to avoid going winless
in six consecutive games for the first time since an 0-3-3 drought from March
19-April 2 of last season.
Tonight's game will mark the first for Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski since
signing a four-year, $18.4 million extension on Monday. The 26-year-old is in
his first full season with the franchise after being acquired from Pittsburgh
last February in a deal that sent James Neal to the Penguins. Goligoski was
slated to be a restricted free agent at season's end.
The Stars will also welcome center Mike Ribeiro back to the lineup for the
first time in eight contests after he was sidelined due to a lower-body
injury. Ribeiro had logged seven goals and five assists -- including
consecutive two-goal games -- in 12 games prior to his injury.
However, Dallas did place forward Brenden Morrow on injured reserve due to an
upper-body injury suffered versus the Wild. The Stars captain has eight goals
and 22 points in 41 games this season.
Dallas, which sits eight points behind San Jose and Los Angeles for first
place in the Pacific Division and now four points back of a playoff spot, had
won three in a row over the Ducks before Anaheim picked up a 5-2 home win on
Jan. 10 in the third of six overall meetings this year. Saku Koivu led the
Ducks offense with his second career hat trick.
The Stars have still won five of the past seven at home in this series.
01/24 10:37:06 ET