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Stars-Red Wings Preview @NHLdotcom

The last thing Dallas is thinking about is another rematch of last season's Western Conference finals with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Stars are just trying to get back into the playoffs.

Dallas looks for its season-high third straight win on Thursday night as it faces a slumping Red Wings team that has dominated the series at Joe Louis Arena over the past eight seasons.

Dallas (21-18-7), which has won just three of its last 15 games in Detroit, is coming off Tuesday's 2-0 win over Atlanta.

Marty Turco showed no rust from a six-day layoff between starts due to the All-Star break, and made 25 saves for his 35th career shutout.

"You're always striving for shutouts," said Turco, 0-8-0 with two ties and a 3.36 goals-against average in 11 career regular-season games in Detroit. "If we can play like this, good things will happen."

Turco has a career-worst 3.00 GAA in 2008-09, but is 3-1-0 with a 1.48 GAA in his last four starts.

"Marty's a proven guy," said Steve Ott, who had a goal as the Stars defeated Detroit 5-4 in overtime on Jan. 12. "We knew all along that he'd find his game. We've got to keep building our record and keep pushing for the playoffs."

Dallas has averaged nearly 105 points while making the playoffs each of the last five seasons. The Stars, though, start play on Thursday in 11th place in the Western Conference.

Mike Ribeiro assisted on goals by Ott and Jere Lehtinen against the Thrashers, and leads Dallas with 30 assists and 41 points. Ribeiro has four goals and four assists as the Stars have gone 4-1-1 in their last six.

"You put those two points in the bank and move on from there," Dallas coach Dave Tippett told the team's official Web site. "Ribeiro is skating very well. ... Ribs is playing a very solid game right now and getting some points."

Lately, the Red Wings haven't been. Detroit (31-9-7) dropped its season-high third straight on Tuesday, falling 3-2 to Columbus in overtime to go 2-2-2 on its six-game trip.

The Red Wings, who opened the swing with a 5-4 loss at Dallas on Jan. 12, allowed an average of 3.83 goals in their longest stretch away from Joe Louis Arena in 2008-09. It's been a different story for Detroit at home, where it has won seven straight while allowing seven total goals.

Pavel Datsyuk, who has two goals and three assists in three games against Dallas this season, returns on Thursday after an NHL-forced benching on Tuesday for not fulfilling his All-Star obligations in Montreal. Nicklas Lidstrom received the same punishment and also will be back to face the Stars.

Henrik Zetterberg left Tuesday's game with back spasms, and the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner will miss this contest one day after signing a 12-year, $73 million contract - the longest in franchise history.

"Our goal is to try to keep this team together," said team vice president Steve Yzerman, who won three Stanley Cups as a Red Wings player. "He's the kind of person and the kind of player we want in this organization."

Drafted 210th overall in 1999, Zetterberg is Detroit's third-leading scorer with 43 points this season.

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