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Stars aim to avenge earlier loss to Flames

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (4-5-3) at STARS (8-6-1)

TV: SNET-West; FS-Southwest

Last 10: Calgary 4-3-3; Dallas 6-4-0

Season series: It's the second meeting in five days between the Western Conference rivals. Calgary rode a hat trick by Mike Cammalleri to a 7-4 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday. The final game between the teams this season will be in Dallas on March 18.

Big story: The Stars return to Dallas after a successful trip to Western Canada in which they won two of three games, including a 4-3 victory at Vancouver on Friday night. But the win came with a price -- starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen left the game in Vancouver with a lower-body injury and was placed on injured reserve. Losing Lehtonen for any length of time could put a severe crimp in the Stars' playoff hopes.

Team Scope:

Flames: Don't expect Calgary to have any sympathy for the Stars' goaltending problems -- the Flames are still without their injured starter, Miikka Kiprusoff, who has a lower-body injury of his own.

With Kiprusoff out, the Flames are looking for someone to take charge in goal. Leland Irving got the first chance, but after allowing two goals in just over four minutes in Friday's 5-2 home loss to St. Louis, he was returned to Abbotsford of the AHL and Danny Taylor was recalled. He and waiver claim Joey MacDonald will vie for playing time in Kiprusoff's absence.

"We want Leland to go down and work on sharpening his game," general manager Jay Feaster said. "At the same time this enables us to continue to evaluate Danny Taylor at the NHL level. Given Kipper's injury we are undergoing a process of evaluating our other goaltenders, and this assignment of Leland and subsequent recall of Danny is in furtherance of that evaluation process."

Stars: Dallas prepared for Lehtonen's absence by recalling Christopher Nilstorp, who figures to back up Richard Bachman. Nilstorp is 0-2-0 with the Stars this season with a 2.70 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Lehtonen left late in the first period on Friday, and Bachman was beaten for three goals in the second period after Dallas opened the scoring. But the Stars rallied to tie the score before Vancouver native Brenden Dillon got the game-winner with 3:01 remaining in regulation.

Should Bachman get the call, he'll be looking to avenge the pasting he took in the 7-4 loss at Calgary

"He's a mentally strong guy. He came off a game in Calgary he wasn't happy with, but he came in relief here and made some big saves," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "At the end you could see he was getting more and more confident as he got into the game. That's a big step for him as well."

Who's hot: Curtis Glencross scored his team-leading sixth goal for the Flames on Friday. … Dallas forward Jamie Benn has a six-game points streak during which he has four goals and five assists. The Stars are 15-5-1 in their last 21 games against Canadian-based teams and 10-2-4 in their last 16 home games against Calgary.

Injury report: In addition to Kiprusoff, the Flames are without forwards Mikael Backlund (knee) and Sven Baertschi (hip). … Dallas is also missing forward Ray Whitney (broken foot).

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