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Predators-Stars Preview @NHL

The hottest team in the NHL - the Nashville Predators - look for their first road win against the Dallas Stars in more than three years Wednesday when the teams meet at the American Airlines Center.

The Predators (13-4-2) have been outscored 17-7 in a five-game losing streak at Dallas since a 2-1 win March 7, 2003.

But Nashville enters this game with nine wins in its last 10 road games, including a 3-1 win Monday at Columbus as both Paul Kariya and Martin Erat each had a goal and an assist.

"Winning hockey games is our job. We want to improve our game. You want to keep improving and then when playoff time comes, you're ready," Predators coach Barry Trotz said.

The Preds have done just that, going 13-1-2 since starting the season with three losses.

The win came at a cost for the Predators, who lost center Jason Arnott for 4-to-6 weeks with a knee injury. Arnott, fourth on the team with 16 points, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday.

Arnott's ailment adds to the list of injured Predators. Defenseman Mikko Lehtonen was placed on injured reserve with a concussion, and center Josef Vasicek is expected to miss Wednesday's game due to back spasms.

The team called up 2004 first-round selection Alexander Radulov from Milwaukee of the AHL to fill the spot vacated by Arnott.

The highly touted Radulov, 20, had two goals in a six-game stint with the Predators earlier this season. The Russian-born right wing has 18 points in 10 games for Milwaukee after netting 61 goals and 152 points for Quebec of the Canadien Hockey League, plus 55 points in 23 playoff games.

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun has played a key role in the Predators' success, going 10-1-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average and one shutout in his last 12 starts. He lost his first two starts of the season, allowing 13 goals on 66 shots.

He narrowly missed his second shutout of the season Monday, giving up a goal with 15 seconds to play.

"Really close," Vokoun said. "I'm not the kind of guy who's worried about shutouts. You'd rather not give up goals, but we got the win."

The native of the Czech Republic has only five wins and one tie with a 2.54 GAA in 20 career starts against Dallas. He has also struggled at American Airlines Arena, winning just twice in 12 starts with a 2.91 GAA.

Brenden Morrow netted two goals and the Stars (14-6-0) rallied twice to beat Colorado 5-4 on Monday.

"We took a few minutes to get our feet under us ... then Brenden had two big goals," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We made some mistakes early, but led by Brenden, we got ourselves back in it."

Morrow, though, is expected to miss this game due to a groin injury after not practicing Tuesday. The Stars, though, may have forward Jere Lehtinen, who has missed the last three games with a leg injury.

Marty Turco was pulled for the first time this season in the win, allowing two goals on five shots in the first 6:51. Backup goaltender Mike Smith allowed two goals in the remainder of the game to get the win.

"That's what I'm back there for," said Smith, who is 3-1 with a 1.55 GAA. "You just go in there and try to give your team a chance. It wasn't one guy. The whole club did a great job coming back. It's a huge win for our club."

Turco is likely to be back in net against a Nashville club he has dominated, posting seven wins and a tie with a 1.80 GAA and a shutout in 11 games, including 10 starts.

Mike Modano leads the Stars with 15 goals and 26 points in 28 games against the Preds.

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