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Thursday, December 1st (All times Eastern)

Ottawa Senators (12-10-2) at Dallas Stars (14-9-1), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Andrew Raycroft earned his first win in nearly a year in Dallas' last trip to the ice and the goaltender will try to make it two in a row tonight, as the Stars welcome the Ottawa Senators for a battle at American Airlines Center.

Raycroft has been forced into the Stars' No. 1 goaltending spot thanks to a groin injury to Kari Lehtonen. The veteran backstop won his first start since Lehtonen went down, as Raycroft made 35 saves to help Dallas notch Monday's 3-1 victory in Colorado.

It was the first win for Raycroft since he and the Stars defeated Minnesota on Jan. 9 of last season. Raycroft is now 1-5-0 on the season with a respectable .912 save percentage. Lehtonen, who is expected to miss three weeks, was 13-4-1 before injuring his groin Saturday against Phoenix.

"It was a big win for all of us tonight," said Raycroft. "I felt really good in practice and the guys were skating well all night. Whenever you get a win on the road it's big."

Michael Ryder had two goals while Eric Nystrom scored the other for the Stars, who are 3-1-1 since a five-game losing streak.

Dallas has a solid 8-3-1 record as the host this year and is kicking off a brief two-game homestand tonight. The Stars will also welcome the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Ottawa is playing the middle test of a three-game road trip and the Senators opened the swing with Tuesday's victory in Winnipeg. The Senators, who are 6-6-1 as the guest, defeated the Jets, 6-4, as Zack Smith scored the game- winner late in the third period. Ottawa will complete its trek Saturday in Washington.

Tuesday's contest featured four lead changes and the Sens allowed Evander Kane to score two goals in the first 2:41 of the third period to give the Jets a 4-3 lead. Ottawa then scored three unanswered goals to skate away with the win.

Smith and Milan Michalek both had two goals for Ottawa, while Jason Spezza and Nick Foligno also lit the lamp in the club's second straight win. Craig Anderson gave up four goals on 43 shots to help the Sens improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven trips to the ice.

Senators forward Nikita Filatov, who has just one assist in eight games this year, suffered a broken nose when he was accidentally kicked in the face by the skate of Winnipeg's Eric Fehr. Filatov is questionable for this evening's game, as is Ottawa defenseman Filip Kuba, who sustained an upper body injury on Tuesday.

Dallas posted a 2-1 regulation win in Ottawa last season and tonight's tilt is the only scheduled meeting between the clubs this season. The Stars have taken two straight and four of six from the Senators and Dallas has come out on top in three of the last four matchups in the Big D.

12/01 10:57:53 ET


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