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Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars

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GAME: Calgary Flames (3-4-1) at Dallas Stars (4-3-0).

TIME: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EDT.

After pulling out a series of narrow victories to start the season, the Dallas Stars have been badly beaten in their last two games.

They'll look to avoid a third straight loss when they host the Calgary Flames.

Dallas opened the season 4-1, with each of those games decided by one goal. However, the Stars lost 5-2 at Vancouver on Sunday and suffered a 7-2 setback to Los Angeles on Thursday in the opener of a three-game homestand.

Stars coach Dave Tippett was forced to pull goaltender Marty Turco after he allowed three goals 8:33 into play.

"That game is a real concern because that's a big division game that you expect to play well in," Tippett said. "That was a combination of poor mistakes, not winning one-on-one battles and erratic play. At times, you had guys scared to make a play."

Dallas defenseman Philippe Boucher hopes the Stars can learn from their mistakes.

"You want to forget about it as quick as possible, but this one you've got to look at and see what happened and make sure you learn from it," Boucher said.

Turco, needing one win to reach 100 for his career, has allowed eight goals in his last two starts.

The Flames hope to avenge last Saturday's 3-2 home loss to Dallas. Mike Modano led the Stars by assisting on all three goals in that contest.

Calgary has won two of its last three games, including Thursday's 3-1 win over Edmonton, completing a 2-2 homestand.

Chuck Kobasew scored two goals, including the game-winner, for the Flames and Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves to record his second victory in six days over the Oilers.

Calgary killed off all six Edmonton power plays.

"The penalty kill's been getting better every day and they showed it tonight," Kobasew said.

Heading into this five-game road trip, Calgary is just 36-for-50 on the penalty kill and a dismal 4-for-50 on power plays, ranking 30th in the league in both categories.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 20): Flames - 7 points, 3rd place (tied), 6 PB, Northwest Division. Stars - 8 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Daymond Langkow, 3 goals; Roman Hamrlik, 5 assists and 6 points; Darren McCarty, 30 PIM. Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 4 goals; Modano, 7 assists and 9 points; Jason Arnott and Boucher, 25 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 20): Flames - Power play: 8 percent (4 for 50), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 72.0 percent (36 for 50), 30th. Stars - Power play: 17.5 percent (7 for 40), 15th. Penalty killing: 82.2 percent (37 for 45), 16th.

GOALTENDERS: Flames - Kiprusoff (3-4-0, 1 SO, 2.99 GAA); Philippe Sauve (0-0-0, 0, 3.00). Stars - Turco (3-3-0, 0, 3.65); Johan Hedberg (1-0-0, 0, 3.24).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 13; Stars, 3-2 (OT). At Calgary, Boucher scored the game-winning goal to give the Stars the road win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 1-3-0 on the road; Stars - 2-2-0 at home.


Associated Press

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