The Dallas Stars have been a model of inconsistency lately.
They'll try to change that and win consecutive games for only the second time this season Saturday night, when they visit a Nashville Predators team hoping to avoid a fourth straight loss.
One game after struggling in a 5-3 home loss to Phoenix on Wednesday, Marty Turco stopped 37 shots Friday night to help Dallas (11-13-4) beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings 3-1.
While their 26 points are the fewest in the Western Conference, the injury-riddled Stars have won four of their last six contests, beginning with their only consecutive victories of the season - over Edmonton and Calgary. However, Dallas has alternated wins and losses in its last five games, allowing one goal in each win and five each in the two losses.
Turco, who has been in goal in all for five contests, is 10-6-0 with tie and a 2.06 goals-against average versus Nashville in his career but only 1-1 with a 3.56 ERA this season.
"No one here is feeling sorry for ourselves," Turco said. "We didn't think beating (Detroit) was impossible, even with our depleted roster."
Having won two of their last three on the road, the Stars should be confident heading to Nashville despite losing 3-1 there on Oct. 11. The Predators (14-12-3) have lost three in a row overall since winning three straight to open December.
Dallas' Fabian Brunnstrom, who recorded a hat trick in his NHL debut in the Stars' 6-4 home win over Nashville on Oct. 15, scored his second goal in as many games Friday. Another rookie, Tom Wandell, scored his first NHL goal in his second career game Friday night.
"I really can't describe the feeling right now," Wandell said. "I have to wake up first."
Nashville hopes to get its offense going against Dallas, which has allowed a conference-high 99 goals. The Predators have been held to one goal in each of their last two contests and have been outscored 11-5 during their three-game skid.
Playing for the third time in four nights, the Predators failed to hold on to a third-period lead in a 2-1 shootout loss at Columbus on Thursday.
"It's frustrating when you've got the lead with 10 minutes to go," said Martin Erat, who scored Nashville's lone goal - his eighth of the season.
Erat had a goal and an assist in the last meeting with Dallas, while former Stars forward Jason Arnott had two goals and an assist in the first matchup in the season series. He has seven points in his last five games against his old team.
Another former Star, goaltender Dan Ellis made 35 saves Thursday against the Blue Jackets but suffered his fourth straight loss. He has allowed three total goals in two starts since missing a week with a leg injury.
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