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Dallas again looking to stay alive

by Adam Schwartz

Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars hope to pull even with Henrik Zetterberg and the Detroit Red Wings in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final tonight in Dallas.
After losing the first three games of the Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Stars have battled back to cut their series deficit to one game against the Detroit Red Wings and look to get even Monday night at American Airlines Center.

The Stars, who had not been past the first round since 2003, last won the Clarence Campbell Bowl as Western Conference champion in 2000.

The Red Wings, who are playing in their second consecutive Western Conference Finals, lost their first home playoff game this spring Saturday, when the Stars defeated Detroit, 2-1, in Game 5.

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* The Stars, who have scored more than two goals in just one of their last nine playoff games, led the Pacific Division with 242 goals during the regular season. Dallas, which has allowed at least 30 shots in four of the five games in the conference final, has been outshot in every game in this series.

* Dallas center Mike Ribeiro, who is second in the League with 13 playoff assists, has just three assists in nine combined regular-season and playoff games against the Red Wings. Ribeiro, who had career highs of 27 goals, 56 assists and 83 points during the regular season, leads the Stars in the postseason with 16 points.

* Brenden Morrow, who leads the Stars with nine goals, had his six-game point-scoring streak snapped Saturday in Game 5. Morrow, who has been to the Stanley Cup Final once, in 2000, has a career-high 15 playoff points – seven more than his previous high.

* Dallas right wing Antti Miettinen, who had 34 points in 69 games during the regular season, has two points in 14 playoff games. Miettinen, whose favorite band is Nirvana, has five points in 23 career playoff games.

* Stars center Mike Modano, who scored the game-winning goal Wednesday in Game 4, has one goal and one assist in nine combined regular-season and playoff games against the Red Wings this season. Modano, who had not scored more than 10 points in the playoffs since 2003, has 12 points in 17 playoff games this season.

* Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas, selected No. 164 by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, leads Stars defensemen with 10 playoff points. Robidas, who is playing in his first conference final, is second on the team with an average ice time of 25:34 per game.

* The Red Wings, who have eight players on their roster with multiple Stanley Cups, are tied for the second-most even-strength goals scored in the playoffs, with 29. The Red Wings, who have scored 25 goals in eight games at home, have the best penalty killing of the three remaining teams, with an 87.5-percent success rate.

* Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom, who has a plus-26 rating in 123 career playoff games, has totaled at least 10 points in three different playoff seasons, including 10 this season. Holmstrom, who is revered for screening the opposition's goalie, played at least 20 minutes in the past two games – the first time this spring he has played more than 20 minutes in a game.

* Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg, who is tied for second in the League with 19 playoff points, had his nine-game point-scoring streak halted in Game 5. Zetterberg, who has 33 points in his last 33 playoff games, never has played in the Stanley Cup Final.

* Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who holds the franchise record with 207 career playoff games, has been a plus player in nine of his 16 playoff seasons, including a plus-8 rating this season. Lidstrom, who has been the Red Wings' captain ever since Steve Yzerman's retirement, is 11 assists shy of Yzerman's franchise record of 115 playoff assists.

* Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski, who has a plus-6 rating in 15 playoff games, has a minus-3 rating in his last two games. Rafalski, who won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003, has had at least six assists in six of his eight playoff seasons, including eight this season.

* Detroit center Jiri Hudler, who is tied for third on the team with nine assists, has four points in five games in the series. Hudler, who has not played more than 11 minutes in any game during the conference final, is fourth on the team with 13 points.

* Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who leads the all playoff defensemen in scoring with 12 points (all assists), has five assists in nine combined regular-season and playoff games against the Stars this season. Kronwall, who is averaging 22:10 of ice time per game during the playoffs, skates on Detroit's second power-play unit.        

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