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Ducks and Stars shift action to Southern California

by Brian Hunter /

STARS (16-16-3) at DUCKS (24-7-5)


Last 10: Dallas 4-5-1; Anaheim 4-4-2

Season series: Fourth of five meetings between these Pacific Division rivals, and the continuation of their three-game mini-series that began Monday in Dallas. In fact, the first three matchups this season all took place in the Lone Star State. The Stars won the first, but the Ducks have taken the last two.

Big story: Viktor Fasth pushed the Stars further back in the Western Conference playoff race with a 26-save shutout performance in the Ducks' 4-0 win on Monday. Dallas must now hope it can extend Anaheim's recent difficulties at home, where the Ducks have dropped three in a row after reeling off a 13-game winning streak.

Team Scope:

Stars: This is the start of a three-game road trip for Dallas that also features a stop in San Jose. The Stars' recent five-game homestand ended as anything but a success, as they gave up a total of 19 goals and won just twice. After scoring 14 goals in the first three games, they managed two against the Kings on Sunday and were blanked by Anaheim. The Stars are now three points out of eighth with 13 games left in the regular season.

"I don't think it's good enough," defenseman Stephane Robidas told the Dallas Morning News. "The first period, we were OK, but we let it slip in the second, we gave them momentum and we couldn't recover after that."

Ducks: With its next five games taking place at Honda Center, the opportunity for Anaheim to wrap up the Pacific crown is there if the Ducks can right the ship on home ice. They'll look to continue the momentum they established Monday when, halfway through a scoreless game, the offense erupted for three goals in less than five minutes to take full control. The big line was responsible for the first two, as Bobby Ryan converted on a power play and set up Corey Perry moments later. Matt Beleskey capped the outburst and Teemu Selanne added an empty-netter in the third.

"[Fasth] made big saves. We weren't perfect tonight. We had breakdowns and I think all Viktor did was frustrate that team," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That was the big thing -- we didn't want them to get one because we thought that would really energize them and Viktor held the door and did that, especially at the end of the first, which would have given them a 1-0 lead going into the second and it might have been a whole different story."

Who's hot: Ryan Getzlaf set up the goals by Ryan and Perry on Monday to move into third in the League with 28 assists. Perry has three goals in his past five games. Fasth tied for fourth in the League with his third shutout of the season.

Injury report: A charley horse sidelined Dallas forward Vernon Fiddler on Monday, while forward Ryan Garbutt (hand) is on injured reserve. … Anaheim forward Nick Bonino (lower-body injury) is on injured reserve.

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