Though they're off to one of the best starts in franchise history, a much-needed break should have been enough to recharge the Dallas Stars.
If the time off didn't help, facing the St. Louis Blues on home ice should.
Dallas (9-2-0) looks for its sixth straight home win over St. Louis (3-4-3) when the teams meet Wednesday night.
Since playing to a 2-2 tie on Feb. 5. 2003, Dallas has outscored St. Louis 15-5 while winning five straight at the American Airlines Center. The Stars' special-teams play has been stellar during the streak, as Dallas has gone 11-of-29 on the power play while killing off 19 of 21 short-handed situations.
Dallas, which will be wrapping up a four-game homestand before playing six of its next seven on the road, is coming off a 3-2 win over Los Angeles on Saturday. Jeff Halpern, one of several free-agent signings by the Stars in the offseason, scored his first goal of the season with 3:44 to play.
Stars coach Dave Tippett, though, said his club looked sluggish recently and gave the players Sunday and Monday off. Three of Dallas' last four games over that stretch were decided by one goal, including a 4-3 loss to Detroit on Friday.
"We have not played to our potential," Tippett said. "For not playing well for three of the last four games, we got six points. I have to give the players credit for that."
One of those players is defenseman Philippe Boucher, who had a goal and assist in the win over the Kings. In his last five games, Boucher has three goals and two assists, and Dallas lost the only contest in which he was held off the scoresheet.
Rookie backup goaltender Mike Smith made 32 saves for his second win in as many starts, but Marty Turco should be back in net Wednesday night. Turco has five wins, including two shutouts, a tie and a 1.14 goals-against average in six home starts against the Blues.
Dallas' 9-2-0 record matches the 1996-97 team for the best 11-game start in franchise history.
Blues right wing Bill Guerin will be making his return to Dallas. Guerin spent three seasons from 2002-06 with the Stars, recording a career-high 69 points in 2003-04.
He was the highest-paid player on the Stars last season, but his contract was bought out in June after he had just 13 goals and 40 points in 70 games. Guerin, who signed a one-year deal with the Blues in July, has four goals and four assists in 10 games this season.
The Blues have dropped two straight one-goal games, including a 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim on Monday.
Trailing by two with just over 5 minutes to play in regulation, Keith Tkachuk and Radek Dvorak scored to tie it, but backup goalie Curtis Sanford gave up shootout goals to Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne.
The Blues also erased a two-goal deficit in the second period when Lee Stempniak and Dennis Wideman scored 1:33 apart.
"We feel good about being able to come back, but when it comes down to it, we want two points," defenseman Christian Backman said. "We don't want to be losing. It doesn't matter who we're playing."
Stempniak leads St. Louis with six goals in 10 games. As a rookie last season, he didn't score his seventh goal until his 27th game.