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Predators-Stars Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Predators-Stars Preview
Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars

Despite leading the Dallas Stars in scoring last season, Mike Ribeiro received very little notoriety. Accomplishing that for a second straight year might just get him the attention he has earned.

Ribeiro and the red-hot Stars look to win their fifth straight overall and their sixth in a row at home Monday night when they meet the Nashville Predators.

The Stars (23-12-4) made what has turned out to be one of the best trades in franchise history when they acquired Ribeiro from Montreal on Sept. 30, 2006, in exchange for defenseman Janne Niinimaa and a fifth-round draft pick.

Ribeiro, who led the Stars with 59 points in 2006-07, is on pace for the best season of his eight-year career. He already has a personal-best 21 goals in 36 games and ranks among the league leaders with 43 points.

Niinimaa, meanwhile, had three points in 41 games for the Canadiens last season and is now out of the NHL.

Mike Modano scored in regulation and had the lone shootout goal as Dallas won its fourth straight, 5-4 over visiting St. Louis on Saturday.

Stu Barnes, Niklas Hagman and Ribeiro also scored in regulation for the Stars, who stayed three points ahead of surging San Jose in the Pacific Division.

"It was a wild one," Ribeiro said. "We could have played better, but the win is the main thing."

Ribeiro has four goals and five assists during a five-game point streak. He has at least one point in nine of his past 10 contests, collecting 11 goals and nine assists in 13 games this month.

Linemate Brenden Morrow has been almost as productive with six goals and eight assists in his last 10 contests.

Backup Mike Smith earned the win Saturday, meaning Marty Turco likely will be in net against Nashville (17-18-2), looking to win for the seventh time in eight starts.

Turco is 6-1-0 with a 2.10 goals-against average in his last seven starts. He is 9-3-0 with one tie and a 1.84 GAA in 14 career appearances against the Predators.

Dallas could be without left wing Jussi Jokinen after he left Saturday's game in the first period with a leg injury.

The Predators gave up three third-period goals Saturday in a 5-2 loss to visiting San Jose.

Alexander Radulov and J.P. Dumont scored for Nashville, which has lost five of six on the road.

Coach Barry Trotz wasn't pleased with the play of goaltender Chris Mason, who allowed five goals on 29 shots.

"I didn't think we got the goaltending that you need in the third period," Trotz said. "But we can also blame everyone for every loss. Everybody has to contribute. That is an area that has to be more consistent."

Defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were both placed on injured reserve Sunday and neither will play Monday. Weber (leg) has missed the last four games while Suter (leg) has missed the past two.

To fill one of those empty spots on the roster, the Predators recalled forward Josh Langfeld from Milwaukee of the AHL. He had six goals and three assists in 14 games with the Admirals, including three goals and two assists in his last five games.

Center David Legwand - second on the team with 28 points - left Saturday's game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return.

Legwand had a hat trick in the Predators' 5-1 home win over the Stars on Oct. 6. Nashville, though, has lost seven straight at Dallas since a 2-1 win on March 7, 2003.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 01 '08 NSH 3 at DAL 1 J. Tootoo
Feb 23 '08 DAL 6 at NSH 3 M. Ribeiro
Dec 31 '07 NSH 1 at DAL 0 J. Dumont
Oct 06 '07 DAL 1 at NSH 5 J. Dumont