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GAME: Dallas Stars (41-18-3) at Calgary Flames (35-19-7).

TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EST.

The Calgary Flames try to keep sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division when they host a Dallas Stars team they haven't beaten in nearly three years.

Calgary had its lead over Colorado in the division cut to one point on Tuesday night when it lost 3-2 to Nashville and the Avalanche beat St. Louis 2-1 in a shootout.

The defeat was just the second in seven games for the Flames, who own a two-point advantage over Vancouver and lead fourth-place Edmonton by just four points in the Northwest.

Colorado visits Chicago on Thursday, while the Canucks host the Predators.

The Flames have lost the last six meetings with the Stars since a 2-1 win at the Pengrowth Saddledome on March 27, 2003. Calgary has lost the last three matchups at home, including a 3-2 overtime defeat on Oct. 13.

Calgary trailed 3-1 in the second period Tuesday, and appeared to pull within a goal when defenseman Jordan Leopold backhanded a loose puck past Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun. The goal, though, was disallowed and the Flames were assessed a penalty for having too many men on the ice.

"We had too many men on the ice, simple as that," Leopold said. "It was a mental mistake and it ended up costing us at least the tie and going into overtime."

The goal would have ended a 100-game drought for Leopold, who scored once for the United States in the Olympics.

The Stars beat Edmonton 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday for their third straight win after losing their first contest following the Olympic break.

Dallas, which leads Los Angeles by 10 points in the Pacific Division, improved to 9-0 in shootouts this season and moved within two points of Western Conference-leading Detroit.

Rookie Jussi Jokinen has been the key to the Stars' shootout success, going 9-for-9 in his attempts. He contributed a shootout goal Tuesday and also scored on a penalty shot in the second period after Edmonton's Steve Staios hooked him on a breakaway.

"It's pretty hard to explain it," Jokinen said. "I enjoy that situation. It's like a 1-on-1 battle between me and the goalie."

Dallas center Mike Modano, who has two goals and three assists in the last four games, has 21 goals and 55 points in 56 appearances against Calgary.

STANDINGS: Stars - 85 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Flames - 77 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 28 goals; Sergei Zubov, 45 assists; Jason Arnott, 60 points; Brenden Morrow, 143 PIM. Flames - Jarome Iginla, 28 goals and 48 points; Andrew Ference, 24 assists; Darren McCarty, 93 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stars - Power play: 16.5 percent (64 for 387), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (318 for 384), 12th. Flames - Power play: 18.3 percent (66 for 360), 10th. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (315 for 377), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Marty Turco (32-15-3, 3 SO, 2.64 GAA); Johan Hedberg (9-3-0, 2.75). Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (31-16-7, 7, 2.17); Brian Boucher (4-6-0, 3.66).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 22; Stars, 2-1. At Dallas, Turco stopped 29 shots and Morrow broke a 1-1 tie with a third-period goal.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 20-8-2 on the road; Flames - 22-7-3 at home.

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