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Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames

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GAME: Dallas Stars (38-24-13-0) at Calgary Flames (38-27-7-3).

TIME: Monday, 9 p.m. EST.

The Dallas Stars have been unbeatable at home for nearly six weeks. They'll have to carry that level of play to the road if they want to win the Pacific Division.

The Stars open a critical four-game road trip and go for a sweep of the Calgary Flames when the teams meet for the fourth time this season.

Stu Barnes scored the go-ahead goal with 12:04 remaining and the Stars stretched their franchise-record, home-unbeaten streak to 17 games with a 3-1 victory Saturday over the St. Louis Blues.

Mike Modano had a goal and an assist, and Jere Lehtinen added a goal for the Stars, who continued to put the pressure on Pacific-leading San Jose. Dallas is 3-0-1 in its last four overall.

Dallas, also battling Vancouver for fourth place in the Western Conference, plays five of its seven remaining games on the road. That stretch could prove disastrous to the Stars' division title hopes, as well as their playoff seeding, if they don't improve their play on the road quickly.

Dallas hasn't lost at home since Jan. 10, but is 13-18-5 away from the American Airlines Center.

"The home ice has been very good to us," Modano said. "We have to find a way to carry it over and get that same killer instinct on the road."

The Stars' trip will also take them to Edmonton and Vancouver before a showdown with the Sharks at HP Pavilion next Sunday.

Dallas is expected to be without veteran defenseman Teppo Numminen on the western swing. Numminen is out indefinitely after doctors diagnosed him with a dilated aorta, one of the large blood vessels leaving the heart. He missed Saturday's contest, and his playing status for the rest of the season is uncertain.

The Stars are 28-3-5 this season when they score first.

Dallas will look to get its trip off to a strong start at Calgary, where the Stars have have already won this season. The Flames, battling for fifth place in the West, had their seven-game unbeaten streak snapped Saturday night with a 3-1 home loss to Nashville.

Calgary's Jarome Iginla scored his 38th goal of the season on a power play to open the scoring at 3:23, but the Predators scored in each period to end the Flames' three-game winning streak.

The game deteriorated into fights after Sergei Zholtok scored into an empty net with 2.9 seconds remaining, and Flames coach Darryl Sutter sent out rugged foursome of defenseman Robyn Regehr, to take the faceoff, left-wing Krzysztof Oliwa, and defensemen Rhett Warrener and Mike Commodore.

"Emotions were running high, it was a big game for us, we were pumped up for it all night," Commodore said. "It's not the first time and it's definitely not the last time that stuff is going to happen."

STANDINGS: Stars - 89 points, 2nd place, 3 PB, Pacific Division. Flames - 86 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 32 goals and 63 points; Jason Arnott, 36 assists; Steve Ott, 148 PIM. Flames - Iginla, 38 goals and 66 points; Craig Conroy, 36 assists; Oliwa, 247 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 20): Stars - Power play: 16.3 percent (50 for 306), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.6 percent (238 for 278), 4th. Flames - Power play: 15.0 percent (49 for 326), 23rd. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (274 for 325), 13th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Marty Turco (34-21-13, 8 SO, 2.00 GAA); Ron Tugnutt (3-3-0, 1, 1.95). Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (21-8-4, 3, 1.65); Roman Turek (5-10-0, 2, 2.50).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: March 5; Stars, 5-1. At Dallas, Turco made 22 saves and set the single-season team record for minutes played as the Stars pushed their home unbeaten run to 13.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 13-18-5-0 on the road; Flames - 19-13-5-1 at home.


Associated Press
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