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Stars, Canucks both hope to make it three in a row

by Brian Compton
STARS (21-17-11) at CANUCKS (29-18-2)

Last 10: Dallas 4-6-0; Vancouver 6-2-2.

Season Series: This is the last of four meetings between the teams. Vancouver has taken two of three, including a 3-1 victory at the American Airlines Center on Jan. 2.

Big Story: Thursday marks the beginning of a three-game road trip for the Stars, and they'll have to play it without top defensive forward Jere Lehtinen, who suffered an upper-body injury during last Saturday's 3-2 shootout win against Detroit. Dallas recalled center Warren Peters from AHL Texas to take Lehtinen's spot in the lineup.

Team Scope:

Stars: Dallas will be looking for its third straight win as it is coming off a 4-3 win on home ice against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night. Loui Eriksson and Matt Niskanen each had a goal and an assist and Brad Richards had three assists in the victory.

"It's a good win," Richards said. "I think we played pretty solid for probably 50 minutes or so and we had a couple of mistakes, but that's going to happen. There's another team out there, and we found a way to keep them from getting the tying goal. It's another win."

Canucks: Vancouver will also attempt to make it three in a row, thanks to Wednesday night's 3-2 overtime victory at Edmonton. Daniel Sedin tallied the game-winner via the power play at 1:39 of the extra session as he redirected a cross-ice feed from his twin brother, Henrik Sedin, past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk. The Canucks scored three times with the man advantage at Rexall Place.

"It was a hard-fought game," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "I thought we came along in the third and our power play was real good and, obviously, it was able to win us the game."

Who's Hot: Eriksson is averaging a point per game over the last 34 contests (14 goals, 20 assists), while Richards has 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) in his last 20 games. … Henrik Sedin had three assists on Wednesday night and leads the League with 70 points (21 goals, 49 assists).

Injury Report: Stars captain Brenden Morrow (upper body) is day-to-day, as is Lehtinen. Mike Ribeiro (throat) is out 4-6 weeks and Nicklas Grossman (lower body) is on the injured reserve list. … Canucks center Alexandre Bolduc (shoulder) and defenseman Kevin Bieksa (ankle) are out, while Ryan Johnson (foot) and Willie Mitchell (upper body) are questionable. 

Stat Pack: Canucks captain Roberto Luongo has started the last 20 games, including a 31-save effort on Wednesday night. Luongo has appeared in every game for Vancouver since Dec. 5 against Carolina.

Puck Drop: "He's played very well. He's playing with some confidence right now. We will most likely ride his goaltending here into the next game. We're pleased for him." -- Stars coach Marc Crawford on goalie Alex Auld
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