The Dallas Stars have played well against other Pacific Division teams this season, but maintaining that success over their next two games could be difficult.
The Stars continue a three-game road trip against division opponents Wednesday when they visit the Anaheim Ducks, owners of the NHL's best record.
Dallas (21-12-0) beat Los Angeles 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday, improving to 11-1-0 against Pacific Division rivals. The Stars are 5-0 against the Kings, 1-0 against Anaheim and 1-1 against San Jose, which they visit on Thursday.
Dallas is in third place in the division behind the first-place Ducks and the Sharks, who own the best records in the Western Conference. Anaheim (26-4-6) has won 13 of its last 16, including Monday's 4-1 victory over Calgary.
"This will be a good test for us," coach Dave Tippett told the team's official Web site. "Both Anaheim and San Jose are playing well.
"But most important, we're focusing on how we're playing. We're not going to worry about how good these two teams have done so far. All we're worried about is coming out and playing well in these two games and the results will take care of themselves."
Saturday's victory was just the second in five games overall for the Stars, but was their second straight win away from home after losing four road games in a row. Brenden Morrow had the game-tying goal and Philippe Boucher and Stu Barnes also scored in regulation for Dallas, which improved to 3-0 in shootouts this season and 15-1 since the NHL instituted the tiebreaking format at the start of 2005-06.
"We've got a tough week ahead of us so this was a solid win for us," Barnes told the team's site.
Boucher, a defenseman who leads the team with 11 goals and 24 points, has a goal in each of his last three games.
Center Mike Modano, who has 10 goals and 10 assists, missed his sixth straight game with a hip injury and will not be with the team for the remainder of the road trip.
"It's a muscle strain and it simply needs to heal. It is as simple as that," Tippett told the team's Web site. "Mike is day-to-day with the injury and hopefully he'll be back soon. But we're not going to rush it."
The Ducks had three goals in the third period of Monday's victory, improving to 23-2-3 when they score at least once in the final period. They have a third-period goal in each of their last 13 games.
"It was a close game for a long time. But we found a way to win it, and that's what we've been doing the whole year," said Samuel Pahlsson, who got the go-ahead score. "We've managed to win, even though we haven't played a perfect game every time."
Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 27 shots to record his NHL-leading 22nd victory. The Ducks are 12-2-2 at home this season.
Anaheim has lost eight of its last 10 meetings with Dallas, including a 4-3 shootout defeat on Oct. 15 at the Honda Center.
|Apr 06 '07||ANA 1 at DAL 2 - SO||L. Nagy|
|Mar 23 '07||DAL 2 at ANA 3 - OT||S. Niedermayer|
|Feb 23 '07||ANA 1 at DAL 4||K. Barch|
|Feb 10 '07||ANA 0 at DAL 1||J. Jokinen|
|Jan 28 '07||DAL 1 at ANA 4||D. Penner|
|Jan 11 '07||ANA 5 at DAL 1||T. Selanne|
|Dec 20 '06||DAL 1 at ANA 4||C. Perry|
|Oct 15 '06||DAL 4 at ANA 3 - SO||J. Jokinen|