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Stars-Bruins Preview @NHLdotcom
Stars-Bruins Preview

GAME: Dallas Stars (29-12-2) at Boston Bruins (16-21-6).

TIME: Saturday, 2 p.m. EST.

The Dallas Stars go for their season-high sixth straight win and try to deal the reeling Boston Bruins a third straight defeat when the teams meet at TD Banknorth Garden.

Jason Arnott scored twice and Marty Turco ended a brief slump with 26 saves as the Stars defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Thursday night to remain atop the Pacific Division.

Turco had struggled in two starts since signing a $22.8 million, four-year contract extension last week, allowing six goals on 23 shots and being pulled from consecutive games for the first time in his career.

"We knew he was going to bounce back," Arnott said. "He played Marty hockey, and made some great saves."

The victory gave Stars a five-game winning streak for the third time this season.

If the slumping Bruins play anything like they did in the last two games, the Stars should have no trouble establishing their longest win streak of 2005-06. Boston was routed 6-0 by Los Angeles on Thursday night, its worst loss of the season, and has been outscored 12-2 in its last two contests.

The turnaround has been stunning for a Bruins club that defeated Northeast Division-leading Ottawa and Tampa Bay before the consecutive blowout losses to the San Jose Sharks and Kings.

"We thought the bottom was hit two nights ago and tonight we found a way to go lower," said Boston's Andrew Raycroft, who made 36 saves Thursday but was replaced for the second straight game by Tim Thomas in the third period. "We've seen China."

The loss was the Bruins' worst since a 6-0 defeat to Toronto on Dec. 4, 2003.

"It's difficult for me to understand what has taken place over the last three days," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. "Because I felt and we felt we had gone a long way in the last three weeks in accomplishing what we felt we needed to accomplish in order to give ourselves a chance to win."

The Bruins are 2-0-1 in their last three meetings with the Stars.

STANDINGS: Stars - 60 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Bruins - 38 points, 5th place, 23 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 24 goals; Sergei Zubov, 30 assists; Mike Modano, 45 points; Steve Ott, 95 PIM. Bruins - Sergei Samsonov, 15 goals; Patrice Bergeron, 19 assists and 31 points; Hal Gill, 60 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stars - Power play: 16.6 percent (46 for 278), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.7 percent (232 for 274), 9th. Bruins - Power play: 16.2 percent (38 for 234), 20th. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (221 for 265), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (21-11-2, 3 SO, 2.53 GAA); Johan Hedberg (8-1-0, 2.58). Bruins - Raycroft (7-16-2, 3.68); Thomas (0-0-0, 0.00).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 8, 2003; Bruins, 4-1. At Boston, Modano gave the Stars the lead 4:03 into the game, but four Bruins scored and Raycroft made 27 saves for the victory.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 15-4-1 on the road; Bruins - 8-9-2 at home.

Associated Press
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