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Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames

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GAME: Dallas Stars (2-1-0) at Calgary Flames (1-3-0).

TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EDT.

Maybe a home game is exactly what the Calgary Flames need to put an end to their dismal start.

Coming off an ugly road trip that featured undisciplined play, poor defense and shaky goaltending, the Flames will try to turn things around when they take on the Dallas Stars in their home opener.

The Flames lost three of four on their road trip, including allowing a combined 13 goals in losses to Detroit and Colorado on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

"This sounds like a broken record. We are being totally dominated," coach Darryl Sutter said of the Flames, who have already allowed 11 power-play goals this season.

The 2004 Stanley Cup runners-up were thought to be winners during free agency, bringing in, among others, veteran forwards Tony Amonte and Darren McCarty and re-signing star winger Jarome Iginla to a three-year contract.

But so far Calgary's problems have come more in its own end of the ice. Miikka Kiprusoff, expected by many to challenge for the Vezina Trophy this season, has nearly a 5.00 goals-against average and a woeful .855 save percentage in four starts.

"It isn't one thing," Iginla said. "Look at all aspects of our game. It all needs to improve."

The Flames added some toughness to their blueline on Tuesday, signing 36-year-old Bryan Marchment. The veteran defenseman has 39 goals, 140 assists and 2,232 penalty minutes in 889 career games.

"We need his leadership in the locker room," Sutter said. "We need his defensive play, and we need his presence on the ice."

Dallas, meanwhile, is hitting the road for the first time after opening the season with a 2-2 homestand.

Prized rookie Jussi Jokinen scored the first goal of his career in a 3-2 win over Phoenix on Tuesday.

Franchise scoring leader Mike Modano set up Jokinen in the first period and scored his 459th goal - short-handed - in the third.

Jokinen, a 22-year-old left wing from Finland, has been among the top prospects in the Dallas organization for several years. He scored five goals in the preseason to solidify his spot on the roster. After being held without a shot the first two games, he broke out early against Phoenix. His second shot produced his first goal.

"He was very good," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a guy we monitor every day and watch very closely because he's taken steps as we've gone along. As the pace of the game rises, we hope he will rise with it."

The Stars have won five straight against the Flames dating to the 2002-03 season.

STANDINGS: Stars - 3 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Pacific Division. Flames - 2 points, 5th place, 4 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Sergei Zubov, 2 goals; Jason Arnott, 4 assists, 5 points and 23 PIM. Flames - Amonte and Daymond Langkow, 2 goals; Amonte and Roman Hamrlik, 3 assists; Amonte, 5 points; McCarty, 15 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 11) Stars - Power play: 9.0 percent (2 for 22), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (18 for 22), 19th. Flames - Power play: 7.4 percent (2 for 27), 27th. Penalty killing: 56.0 percent (14 for 25), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Marty Turco (2-1-0, 0 SO, 3.02 GAA); Johan Hedberg (no record). Flames - Kiprusoff (1-3-0, 0, 4.93); Philippe Sauve (0-0-0, 0, 3.00).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Stars, 4-0.

LAST MEETING: March 22, 2004; Stars, 4-0. At Calgary, Alberta, Turco stopped 29 shots for his 21st career shutout, and Shayne Corson scored twice for the Stars.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 0-0-0 on the road; Flames - 0-0-0 at home.


Associated Press
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