The Thrashers (12-5-3) had a four-game winning streak end with a 5-2 home loss to the New York Rangers last Friday before falling 5-3 at Tampa one day later.
Atlanta accumulated a season-high 40 penalty minutes against the Lightning and allowed a season high-tying three power-play goals.
"We took too many penalties and that's what killed us," said Thrashers right wing Marian Hossa, who had two goals in the loss. "We used up a lot of energy at the beginning of the game and that's what cost us in the end."
Atlanta's penalty-killing unit has struggled lately, as opponents have gone 8-for-27 on the power play in the last four games. The Thrashers, though, have gone 8-for-25 with the man advantage over that stretch and own one of the best power-play units in the NHL.
That unit is led by Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov, who have combined to score 20 of the team's 24 power-play goals. Hossa, who has a point in seven consecutive games, is among the league leaders with 15 goals and 30 points.
He scored twice in Atlanta's lone win against Dallas last Jan. 18. Prior to that victory, the Thrashers had lost all eight meetings in the series.
The Stars (12-5-0) hope to take advantage of the Thrashers' poor penalty kill after losing 3-0 to the New York Islanders at home on Wednesday. It was the second time they were shutout this season, equaling their total from 2005-06.
The power play has stumbled, going 3-for-42 in the last seven games.
"The power play hasn't had the results we'd like and that could have been the difference in the game," Stars center Mike Modano said after Dallas went 0-for-7 with the man advantage Wednesday.
The Stars have only managed three goals in losing their of their last four games.
"Maybe we're trying to be a little too fine on it," Stars center Eric Lindros said. "We've had our chances. The hockey gods haven't been with us but we'll keep working and force the luck back our way."
Modano leads the team with eight goals, but hasn't scored in the last five games.
Dallas has relied on superb play from goalie Marty Turco, who is 10-4-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average this season. He has won all four meetings with Atlanta, posting a 1.25 GAA in those appearances.
The Stars could be without right wing Jere Lehtinen, who injured his leg in the second period of the loss to the Islanders. Lehtinen has two goals and five assists this season.
|Nov 17 '06||DAL 5 at ATL 3|