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Ducks hope to rebound against Stars

by Brian Compton
STARS (38-28-11) at DUCKS (44-29-5)

TV: Fox Sports-Southwest, Fox Sports-Prime Ticket.

Last 10: Dallas 2-5-3; Anaheim 7-3-0.

Season Series: This is the sixth and final meeting between the Pacific Division rivals. The Ducks have won four of the first five showdowns, including a pair of overtime victories last month.

Big Story: The Ducks spent the flight back from San Jose on Saturday night with their fingers crossed hoping that their star defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky won't miss any action after suffering an upper-body injury during a 4-2 loss to the Sharks.

Visnovsky will be re-evaluated in Anaheim on Sunday. A significant injury to the Slovakian -- a potential Norris Trophy candidate -- could be devastating for the Ducks.

"(Sharks defenseman) Doug Murray takes a run at Visnovsky from halfway across the ice. I counted the steps, he took five steps, I just watched it," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "He comes halfway across the rink to run at the guy. But that's OK."

Team Scope:

Stars: Desperate for points, Dallas came up empty Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 loss at Los Angeles. The Stars, losers of six in a row, trail eighth-place Chicago by five points in the Western Conference with just five games remaining. Dallas is in danger of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third straight year.

"We're still alive here, and we're still kicking," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "You just have to keep believing that your luck is going to change. It was a very even game. They caught the break and we didn't. End of story."

Ducks: Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky both scored on Saturday night for Anaheim, which had won seven of eight to move into seventh place in the Western Conference, but it wasn't enough to topple San Jose. The Ducks can clinch a playoff berth by winning two of their final four games.

"We're going to have play a full 60 minutes against a team like that," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We were unable to do that tonight."

Who's Hot: Stars forward Jamie Benn has 3 points in his last four games. … Ducks forward Corey Perry had a pair of assists Saturday night. He has an eight-game point streak, with 16 points (10 goals, 6 assists) during that span.

Injury Report: Dallas is expected to be without Adam Burish (lower body), Nicklas Grossman (knee) and Brian Sutherby (back).

Stat Pack: Anaheim is one of only two teams in the NHL to have five players with at least 60 points this season. San Jose is the other.

Puck Drop: "It's a cliché, but we've just got to work harder and the breaks will come. We felt pretty confident as the game went along and, going into the third it was a tie game, a game we could get, but we just didn't have that extra step to get to the loose pucks." -- Stars captain Brenden Morrow after Saturday's 3-1 loss at L.A.

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