After a shaky start and a roller-coaster road trip, the Dallas Stars are looking to find some consistency. Following another rocky third period, the Washington Capitals would like to get their season back on track.
After winning two of three games on its trip to the New York area, Dallas returns home to face Washington on Saturday.
The Stars (3-4-1) beat the New York Islanders 5-3 on Thursday, one night after a 5-0 drubbing to the New Jersey Devils. Dallas opened its trip with a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on Monday.
After struggling offensively against the Rangers and Devils, the Stars brought back the Mike Ribeiro-Loui Eriksson-Brenden Morrow line for the final leg of the trip. The trio responded with four goals and six assists against the Islanders.
"Things weren't going well earlier, and there was some frustration," said Morrow, who had a goal and two assists. "It felt good getting back together."
Eriksson scored twice in the first period, while Ribeiro also scored and recorded a career-high five points. Ribeiro, who had two assists in the previous six games, leads Dallas with nine points and eight assists.
"It's good for my confidence, and things just felt right tonight," Ribeiro told the team's official Web site. "It was a good game overall. We killed some penalties, blocked shots and were good on special teams. We got second effort tonight, and hopefully we can build on this going forward."
Eriksson and Ribeiro scored power-play goals Thursday for Dallas, which was 4-for-32 with the man advantage entering the game.
After allowing three goals on 17 shots and getting pulled in the second period against New Jersey, Marty Turco made 24 saves against the Islanders. Turco has surrendered a league-high 29 goals.
"One of the big differences between last night and tonight was Marty made some big saves early," Morrow said. "It gave us a bit of confidence."
Washington (3-3-1) would like to regain its swagger after botching another third-period lead. In Thursday's 2-1 loss at Phoenix, Brooks Laich gave the Caps a 1-0 lead in the second, but Jose Theodore allowed two goals in the opening 6:32 of the third.
"We talk about not playing prevent defense and that's what we did," said Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team started the season 3-1-0. "We made two bad plays and it turned into two goals."
Despite leading in their last three games, the Caps are 0-2-1. Last Saturday, New Jersey outscored Washington 2-1 in the third before taking a 4-3 shootout win. In Tuesday's 2-1 loss at Calgary, the Capitals scored first but allowed two second-period goals.
"We're just not working," right wing Matt Bradley said. "We have the skill. We have the good systems in place. We're just not working. You don't work, you don't win."
Alexander Semin notched his team-leading fifth assist against the Coyotes. He also leads the Caps with six goals.
Alexander Ovechkin, who has four points, went scoreless for the fourth time this season. The reigning league MVP tallied 112 points in 2007-08.
Washington beat Dallas 4-3 in the teams' last meeting on Nov. 30, 2006 to snap a five-game losing streak in the series. The Capitals are 2-9-0 all-time in Dallas, getting outscored 40-19.