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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 30th (All times eastern)

Dallas Stars (33-33-9) at Phoenix Coyotes (31-37-7), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars have picked the worst possible time to go on their longest losing streak in over 13 years. Having lost six consecutive contests, Dallas will try to keep its fading playoff hopes alive in tonight's battle with the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

A surprise participant in last season's Western Conference finals, the Stars have made the playoffs in five straight seasons, and a 10-3-0 stretch from January 21-February 19 seemed to make a sixth consecutive postseason appearance very possible after a slow start.

However, Dallas has gone just 4-12-2 since and Saturday's 6-3 loss to Florida was the club's sixth defeat in a row, its longest skid of that length since December 5-15, 1995. Tonight, the Stars will attempt to avoid dropping seven consecutive games, something the club hasn't done since November 30-December 12, 1989.

Mike Ribeiro had a goal and assist in Saturday's loss for Dallas, which has fallen into 12th place in the Western Conference, eight points back of a playoff spot with seven games to play.

Chris Conner and Matt Niskanen also scored for the Stars and Marty Turco made 27 saves.

The Stars have also lost four straight on the road, where they are 14-18-4 this season. Dallas will play in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

If Dallas can rebound against any one club right now, the Coyotes would be a good candidate. Just about on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, Phoenix has lost eight of its last 11 games.

That includes Saturday, when the club was defeated by San Jose, 3-2. Kurt Sauer and Matthew Lombardi found the net for the Coyotes, while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 29-of-32 shots faced.

Phoenix has played well at home, however. The Coyotes are 20-14-3 at Jobing.com Arena this season and have won three of their last four as the host.

The club has also played Dallas tough this year. The Coyotes have won three of five over the Stars in 2008-09, winning two straight by 1-0 margins. Phoenix has won six of its last nine versus Dallas as well, and its 1-0 shootout win in Glendale on January 10 halted a brief two-game series home losing streak.

03/30 10:51:13 ET


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