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Preview: Stars at Ducks

Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf will be game-time decision; goaltender Antti Niemi to start for Dallas

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

STARS (17-16-8) at DUCKS (21-13-8)

10 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-SW, NHL.TV


Stars team scope

Dallas Stars goaltender Antti Niemi played 14:42 in the third period and made one save against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Monday, and it was enough to get the win in a 6-4 victory. Two of Niemi's eight wins this season have come against the Anaheim Ducks (Oct. 13 and Dec. 13), and he has a .944 save percentage in the two games. Coach Lindy Ruff has pulled Kari Lehtonen in each of Lehtonen's past two starts. "It's hard," Ruff said Monday. "We're battling for our lives. I know he's battling too. They [the Kings] pulled their goalie too ... it's the same battle. This league is so tight right now. This two points gets us within two points of them, and it's an important two points in the standings." Forward Jamie Benn will miss his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. "He's close, but he's not ready," Ruff told the Stars website. "We're not putting him in a position where it is just going to be a one and done. He's got to be ready. He'll know when he's ready, and he'll say, 'I'm ready.' " Forward Tyler Seguin, who has 41 points this season (15 goals, 26 assists), was named Tuesday to the 2017 NHL All-Star Game, which will be played Jan. 29 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It is the fourth time in his career he has been named an all-star. "It seems 2017 is a bit of a fresh start," Seguin told the Stars website. "I want to keep going and keep this push on to make playoffs this year. … It's a bit of an uphill climb. Looking at the [Western Conference], there's lots of room still, and we're right there in the fight."


Ducks team scope

Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, took part in the morning skate Tuesday and will be a game-time decision. "It's coming along, and we're trying to be as patient as we can," Getzlaf said. "Things are progressing the way we want them to, and then we'll re-evaluate tonight when we get here." The Ducks, 13-5-2 at home, are coming off a 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. It was their first loss after three consecutive wins. "I think we just need to be a little more consistent," defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "We need to string games together. Even if we would lose some, you want to lose them feeling that the other team beat you. You don't want to be feeling like you lost the game yourself. It's something I think we can be a little better at." The power play continues to struggle, 0-for-13 in the past five games. Defenseman Cam Fowler and center Ryan Kesler were named to the NHL All-Star Game. Kesler, 32, has been especially motivated this season, namely, by questions about continuing production at his age. "That gets me going," he said. "Ever since I signed that contract, I want to prove people wrong. You try not to hear it, but you hear what people say, and I think that motivates me every year to come back and prove that I'm not 'over the hill.'"


Stars projected lineup

Jiri Hudler -- Jason Spezza -- Tyler Seguin 

Antoine Roussel -- Cody Eakin -- Patrick Eaves

Devin Shore -- Radek Faksa -- Patrick Sharp

Lauri Korpikoski -- Adam Cracknell -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya -- Jordie Benn

Dan Hamhuis -- Jamie Oleksiak

Antti Niemi 

Kari Lehtonen 

Scratched: Curtis McKenzie, Stephen Johns, Patrik Nemeth

Injured: Jamie Benn (foot), Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip)


Ducks projected lineup

Joseph Cramarossa -- Rickard Rakell -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Chris Wagner -- Logan Shaw -- Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Kevin Bieksa -- Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Brandon Montour

Injured: Ryan Getzlaf (lower body), Nate Thompson (Achilles)


Status report

Getzlaf hopes to join the Ducks for their upcoming two-game trip, at the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. … The Stars did not have a morning skate.


Who's hot

Seguin, who scored and had an assist against the Kings on Monday, has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past seven games, and is four points from 400 in his NHL career. … Spezza has 10 points (two goals, eight assists). … Klingberg has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past three games. … Kesler has four goals in his past four games.

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