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Stars, Ducks trying to finish strong

by Brian Compton
STARS (33-28-14) at DUCKS (35-31-8)

Last 10: Dallas 4-4-2; Anaheim 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the fifth of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. Dallas has won three of the first four, including a 5-3 decision at the American Airlines Center on New Year's Eve.

Big Story: Both teams are basically playing out the season as they're all but assured to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's especially disappointing for the Ducks, who nearly reached the Western Conference finals last season.

Team Scope:

Stars: Dallas had a strong showing on Saturday night, when it went 4-for-7 on the power play in a 4-1 victory at Los Angeles. Brad Richards had two goals and an assist for the Stars, who are 3-1-1 in their last five games.

"We played a real strong game," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said. "Everybody looked like they had a little bit of jump tonight. Obviously, when your power play scores four, that goes a long way to helping you win. Full marks for our group and the battle level they had tonight. I was really pleased with our guys' performance tonight and they were pleased too."

Ducks: Thanks to a pair of power-play goals in the third period by star forward Corey Perry, Anaheim rallied for a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night at Rexall Place.

Still, the Ducks have just eight games remaining on their schedule and are double-digits in points from a playoff spot.

"It's tough to say, but our chances have slimmed down and we know that," Perry said. "But there are a lot of guys that are working for jobs and we're coming in every night and working hard and continuing to push. That's our attitude. Never say no.

"It can be tough mentally, but you have to go out there and play your game. It's not over until you've played all 82 games."

Who's Hot: With three more points on Saturday, Richards now has 85 points this season for the Stars. He had 91 with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2005-06. … Ducks forward Teemu Selanne has two goals and six assists in his last seven games.

Injury Report: Stars forward Krys Barch (leg) and Mike Modano (appendectomy) are out. … For the Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf (ankle) is day-to-day, while Joffrey Lupul (back) is out.

Stat Pack: Prior to their outburst in Los Angeles on Saturday night, the Stars were 1-for-20 on the power play in their first five games against the Kings. It marked the 10th time in franchise history they have scored four power-play goals in a game.

Puck Drop: "We won't accept anything less than 110 percent effort. That's what we have asked our players. We know it is difficult at this time, but there are still people playing for jobs and opportunities for next year, and that's important." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle

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