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Predators-Stars Preview @NHLdotcom
Predators-Stars Preview

GAME: Nashville Predators (31-14-6) at Dallas Stars (35-15-2).

TIME: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. EST.

For the Dallas Stars to win lately, 60 minutes just hasn't been enough.

After winning each of its last four games after regulation, Dallas looks to extend its winning streak to six games when it hosts the Nashville Predators.

It didn't take a shootout, but it did take some extra minutes on the ice before the Stars rallied from a third-period deficit to win their fifth straight, 3-2 over the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

It was the fourth game in a row that Dallas, 10-2 in overtime and shootouts this season, had to surge late to pull out the victory. The Stars' previous three wins over St. Louis, Colorado and Detroit each came in a shootout.

"I'd like to go out and win by a big score," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "But I think these character-building games will help us down the line. The more you learn about your team in close games, the better you'll be down the stretch."

The Stars have gone 11-3-0 in their last 14 games to open up an eight-point lead over Los Angeles in the Pacific Division, but know they have to break the come-from-behind habit if they plan to go far in the playoffs.

"We didn't play well," Dallas right wing Bill Guerin said. "We were lucky to win. We came out flat and made a lot of mistakes. This is a misleading win streak. We're not playing as well as we should."

Defenseman Sergei Zubov scored the game-tying goal with just over 4 minutes left in the final period Monday and Jason Arnott had an assist and the lone overtime goal for the Stars, whose 11 wins in January tied the franchise mark for victories in a month.

The Predators acquired veteran center Mike Sillinger from St. Louis on Sunday after losing their second in row on Saturday, 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sillinger led the Blues with 22 goals, including 11 on the power play, and has 41 points in 48 games this season.

"Mike Sillinger is a battle-tested veteran who will help us both offensively and defensively," Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. "He is an all-purpose forward who can play in any situation and can play center or on the wing. He also gives us a top right-handed faceoff man to complement Yanic Perreault."

Scott Hartnell, Adam Hall and Perreault each scored power-play goals Saturday for Nashville, which had won three straight prior to its consecutive defeats.

The Stars are 10-2-0 all time against the Predators in Dallas.

STANDINGS: Predators - 68 points, 2nd place, 5 PB, Central Division. Stars - 72 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Steve Sullivan, 25 goals; Paul Kariya and Kimmo Timonen, 32 assists; Kariya, 49 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 107 PIM. Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 25 goals; Zubov, 34 assists; Mike Modano, 50 points; Steve Ott, 103 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Predators - Power play: 18.9 percent (62 for 328), 9th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (275 for 327), 10th. Stars - Power play: 16.2 percent (52 for 321), 21st. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (266 for 319), 12th.

GOALTENDERS: Predators - Tomas Vokoun (25-10-5, 1 SO, 2.63 GAA); Chris Mason (5-3-1, 3.16). Stars - Marty Turco (27-13-2, 3, 2.50); Johan Hedberg (8-2-0, 2.71).


LAST MEETING: Nov. 26; Stars, 3-1. At Nashville, Tenn., Lehtinen and Antti Miettinen scored power-play goals, and Turco made 23 saves for Dallas.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 12-9-5 on the road; Stars - 18-10-1 at home.

Associated Press

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