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Stars-Predators Preview @NHL
Stars-Predators Preview

GAME: Dallas Stars (9-5-1) at Nashville Predators (9-2-3).

TIME: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST.

Goaltender Marty Turco and the Dallas Stars look to extend a season-high three-game winning streak as they visit the Nashville Predators.

Dallas, which has lost just one of five road games this season, is coming off Monday's 4-0 victory over Edmonton. Turco stopped 16 shots for his first shutout of the year, and has an 0.97 goals-against average during the Stars' win streak.

"His focus, his mental preparation has been there," Stars center Mike Modano said of Turco. "There's a lot of pressure, a lot riding on him. It's a tough thing and he has to find a way to deal with it. He has to keep proving himself."

Turco's play in net hasn't overshadowed a Dallas offense that has produced 16 goals the last three games, including the first career tally by rookie Junior Lessard on Monday.

"Tonight it was great to see the guys play in a dominating way," Turco said.

The Predators opened the season with eight straight wins, but have gone just 1-2-3 since, losing five straight before Tuesday's dramatic 3-2 victory over Edmonton.

Scott Hartnell scored the game-winner with 22.5 seconds left in regulation as Nashville won for the first time since a 5-3 win over Chicago on Oct. 25.

"We were able to battle back in the last 40 seconds and get rid of this funk," Hartnell said.

The Predators have lost five straight meetings with the Stars dating to a 2-1 win on March 7, 2003.

Dallas have won two straight on the road since a 5-2 defeat in Vancouver on Oct. 16.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 9): Stars - 19 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Pacific Division. Predators - 21 points, 2nd place, 8 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 8 goals; Brenden Morrow and Jason Arnott, 10 assists; Modano, 16 points; Steve Ott, 58 PIM. Predators - Steve Sullivan, Paul Kariya, Yanic Perreault and Martin Erat, 5 goals; Sullivan, 8 assists and 13 points; Jeremy Stevenson, 48 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 9): Stars - Power play: 16.6 percent (15 for 90), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (78 for 93), 12th (tied). Predators - Power play: 14.2 percent (12 for 84), 24th. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (81 for 95), 6th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (7-4-1, 1 SO, 2.91 GAA); Johan Hedberg (2-1-0, 0, 3.90). Predators - Tomas Vokoun (8-2-2, 0, 2.54); Chris Mason (1-0-1, 0, 3.31).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Stars, 3-0-1-0.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 26, 2003; Stars, 2-1. At Nashville, Tenn., the Stars got goals from Morrow and Arnott in the first two periods.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 4-1-0 on the road; Predators - 6-1-0 at home.

Associated Press

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