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Preview: Stars at Canucks

Dallas aims to end three-game losing streak; Vancouver tries to stop four-game skid

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

STARS (27-32-10) at CANUCKS (28-32-9) 

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


Stars team scope

The Dallas Stars will be looking to end a three-game losing streak. They have been outscored 17-4 in that span, including a 7-1 loss against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. "We put this jersey on with pride and represent our organization and our city and we haven't played hard enough to represent that the last few games," forward Tyler Seguin said. "We want to play get back to working hard for each other and playing with more pride and it's a chance to start that tonight." Dallas is 13 points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, and one point behind the Vancouver Canucks. Goalie Kari Lehtonen will start after replacing Antti Niemi 31:29 into the game Tuesday. Dallas has pulled its starting goalie in three straight games and 10 times in the past 33. "I don't think it's just the goalies," captain Jamie Benn said. "That's a pretty easy target for everybody outside that dressing room to pick on but there's 18 guys in front of that goalie that aren't playing up to par and we have to play good defense tonight."


Canucks team scope

The Canucks, who have lost four straight games (0-2-2) and are 12 points behind the Blues in the playoff race, are starting to focus on giving more opportunities to younger players for the rest of the season. "There are guys that will never get a better opportunity to prove they are NHL players than now. Never," coach Willie Desjardins said. "They have to be ready and they have to take advantage of it." That includes forward Reid Boucher, who will be back on the second line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi for a second straight game. Boucher started on that line against the Boston Bruins on Monday but was dropped down the lineup two shifts into a 6-3 loss. Boucher, who will be playing his 100th NHL game, hasn't had many chances as a top-six forward until now. "It's a good opportunity for me," he said. "It puts me in a position to go out and play a style of game I am comfortable with. … You have to go out and compete every night and show them you can earn a spot for next year." Goaltender Ryan Miller, 36, will start for the 12th time in the past 13 games despite averaging 39.8 shots against in his past five. Regular backup Jacob Markstrom will miss his 12th game with a knee injury.


Stars projected lineup

Remi Elie -- Jason Spezza -- Tyler Seguin

Jamie Benn -- Cody Eakin -- Ales Hemsky

Curtis McKenzie -- Radek Faksa -- Patrick Sharp

Adam Cracknell -- Devin Shore -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Stephen Johns

Patrik Nemeth -- Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Jiri Hudler, Greg Pateryn

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Antoine Roussel (hand)


Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Reid Boucher

Joseph Cramarossa -- Brandon Sutter -- Drew Shore

Joseph Labate -- Michael Chaput -- Jayson Megna

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Alex Biega

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Philip Larsen, Alexandre Grenier

Injured: Christopher Tanev (food poisoning), Brendan Gaunce (upper body), Nikolay Goldobin (flu), Loui Eriksson (knee), Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Jack Skille (groin), Anton Rodin (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist surgery), Derek Dorsett (neck surgery)


Status report 

Hudler will be a healthy scratch for the fifth consecutive game while Elie, a rookie, continues to play on the Stars' top line. … Tanev skated on his own Thursday but will miss his third straight game since food poisoning sent him to the emergency room on Friday. He is expected to join the Canucks for a five-game road trip but is doubtful to play the first game in Edmonton on Saturday. Markstrom, who injured his right knee during the Canucks SuperSkills event Feb. 26, took part in goalie drills Thursday morning and is also expected to return during the road trip. 

Who's hot 

Benn has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past 10 games. … Horvat has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in his past 14 games and leads the Canucks with 20 goals and 46 points despite not getting a point in the past two games. 

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