The Ducks are in Texas for an evening matchup with the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center (5 p.m. PT, NBC Sports Network, AM 830).
It’s the lone game on the NHL schedule tonight, and the Ducks will look to increase their winning streak to three games against a Stars team that’s winless in their last two. Prior to their recent skid, the Stars had won six of their previous seven.
The Ducks will have a different look on the blueline tonight, with Bryan Allen, Francois Beauchemin and Luca Sbisa out with injuries. Allen suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday’s game against Phoenix and was not on the ice yesterday, nor was Beauchemin, who was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury that occurred last Wednesday against New Jersey. Sbisa will be out for an extended period of time after tearing a tendon in his hand during Friday’s game against Tampa Bay. In their place are Sami Vatanen (who scored in Anaheim’s 4-2 victory at Phoenix) and Nolan Yonkman, who had three assists with a +1 rating and 31 penalty minutes in 18 games with Norfolk of the American Hockey League at the time of his recall.
Jonas Hiller is expected to get the start in net tonight. Hiller has won two straight games, including a season-high 42-save performance in Anaheim’s 4-2 victory against the Coyotes.
Kari Lehtonen will get the start in net for Dallas.
Teemu Selanne has appeared in 99 career contests against Dallas, earning 86 points (41g/45a).
ON THE STARS
Head coach Bruce Boudreau knows his team is a facing a Dallas club that isn’t afraid to put the puck on net. “Every team is good in the NHL, so if you don’t come in and put your best foot forward, you’re not going to have success,” he said. “Dallas got beat pretty good by St. Louis and they lost their [two] previous games, even though they’ve averaged 40 shots on goal per game. It’s something we have to be aware of and we know they’ll be coming out like gangbusters at home.”
The first meeting between the two teams resulted in Dustin Penner leaving with a concussion and subsequently missing five games as a result of the injury. Penner was hit up high by Stars forward Ryan Garbutt, who received a five-game suspension for his actions. Boudreau was asked if that incident will be on their minds tonight.
“They always remember things,” he said. “That’s all on an individual basis. Sometimes you forget, sometimes you remember. Sometimes you get into a position to hit him back, fairly, just like Sbisa did with [Radko] Gudas the other day. We remembered the hit on Teemu. But, we want to win the game. We know how tough our schedule is coming up and we need to win games if we want to stay near the top.”
EXPECTED LINE COMBINATIONS
Dustin Penner-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey-Mathieu Perreault-Teemu Selanne
Andrew Cogliano-Nick Bonino-Kyle Palmieri
Patrick Maroon-Daniel Winnik-Emerson Etem
Cam Fowler-Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm-Nolan Yonkman
Mark Fistric-Sami Vatanen
Pacific Division opponents for 15 consecutive seasons, the Ducks and Stars face each other for just the second time as non-divisional opponents since Mar. 13, 1998 at Dallas (6-3 Ducks loss). Now a member of the Western Conference’s Central Division, Dallas will face Anaheim a total of three times this season. Anaheim opened the season series with a 6-3 victory over Dallas on Oct. 20 at Honda Center. That victory celebrated the 1,500th game in team history and pushed an Anaheim winning streak to a franchise-tying seven games.