Season Series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams. Detroit earned a 5-2 win against Dallas on Nov. 12 at Joe Louis Arena.
Big Story: Much of the early Vezina Trophy conversations this season have revolved around the likes of Tim Thomas and Henrik Lundqvist, but Jimmy Howard has been downright sensational for the Red Wings. Howard enters Tuesday's action with a League-leading 23 wins after notching his fourth shutout of the season in Saturday's 3-0 win against St. Louis.
"Every night you want to get up and play your best against the goalie at the other end," said Howard, who started 13 of Detroit's 15 games in December. "I think it's more along the lines that we need the points. We can't sit back and rest on anything. We need to continue to get points."
Red Wings: Detroit is in the thick of the Western Conference race, but it does need to be better on the road. While the Wings have won 12 straight at Joe Louis Arena, they begin this four-game road trip with an away record of just 9-11-0. They've dropped six of their last nine on the road.
"You want to be real good at home," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We'd like to improve our road record here, and we're going to have an ample opportunity to do that."
Stars: Dallas bounced back nicely from last Thursday's disappointing 4-1 loss to Columbus by earning an impressive 4-2 victory against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. The Stars' three-game homestand concludes with a tough task Tuesday night, as they'll need to figure out a way to solve Howard, who has lowered his goals-against average to 1.93.
"For us moving forward, we've gotta look up," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We can't look down and sideways … we'll trip and fall."
Who's Hot: Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has 15 points in his last 12 games. … Stars forward Michael Ryder has goals in six of his last seven games, while Jamie Benn has 10 points in his last eight.
Stat Pack: Howard is just 3-4-1 lifetime against the Stars; however, his GAA is 2.37. … Dallas finished the calendar year of 2011 with a record of 41-31-8.
Puck Drop: "Every night you want to get up and play your best against the goalie at the other end. I think it's more a long the lines that we need the points. We can't sit back and rest on anything. We need to continue to get points." -- Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard