NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 23rd (All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (35-16-10) at Dallas Stars (35-21-3), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars have a chance to close the gap on the first-place Anaheim Ducks when the Pacific Division members get together tonight for an important matchup at the American Airlines Center.
Anaheim sits atop the division with 80 points, three more than second-place San Jose and seven better than the Stars. The Ducks have not been playing their best hockey as of late, however, as the club has dropped two straight and five of their last seven games.
The Ducks' two most recent defeats have come in extra time. After falling at home to Los Angeles in a shootout on Sunday, Anaheim was edged by Vancouver in overtime Tuesday at the Honda Center.
Daniel Sedin scored on the power play 2:19 into the additional period to give the Canucks a 3-2 victory. The score came shortly after Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer was taken off for a hooking penalty.
Tim Brent and Chris Kunitz each scored for Anaheim and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 28-of-31 shots.
The Ducks have now played four consecutive overtime games, going 2-0-2 in those tests.
Dallas also comes in off a narrow defeat, a 2-1 shootout setback Tuesday at Minnesota. Niklas Hagman had the only goal of the evening for the Stars, who failed on all three of their chances during the deciding phase.
The loss spoiled an outstanding performance by Stars goaltender Marty Turco, who ended with 38 saves.
Dallas should welcome a return to the American Airlines Center, where the team has won four of its five most recent contests and owns a strong 19-9-1 home mark for the season. Anaheim brings a 17-11-3 away record into tonight's showdown.
The Ducks have won three of the five previous meetings between these teams this season, but came out on the short end of a 1-0 decision in Dallas earlier this month.
02/23 10:22:16 ET