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Stars' Seguin set to face Bruins for first time

by Mike G. Morreale

STARS (6-6-2) at BRUINS (8-5-0)


Last 10: Dallas 4-4-2; Boston 6-4-0

Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins. Dallas ended a three-game losing streak to the Bruins on Dec. 31, 2011 with a 4-2 victory at American Airlines Center. The teams will meet again in Dallas on Jan. 16.

Big story: Stars center Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, will return to TD Garden to face his former team for the first time since being traded by the Bruins in July. Seguin, who had 56 goals and 65 assists in 203 regular-season games with the Bruins, leads the Stars in goals (six) and points (15).

Team Scope:

Stars: The Stars improved to 3-2-0 against the Eastern Conference on Sunday with a 4-3 shootout decision against the Ottawa Senators. Jamie Benn scored the only goal in the shootout and Kari Lehtonen stopped Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan to seal it for the Stars. Valeri Nichushkin, the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his first NHL goal 30 seconds into the second period when he took a drop pass from defenseman Brenden Dillon on the rush and lined a shot past Senators goalie Craig Anderson from the slot. The 18-year-old Russian played 19:19 in the game, his highest total since the season opener, and matched his season-high with three shots on goal.

"You look at not only this game, but a few games before it and you can see he is getting more comfortable," Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar told the Stars’ website. "He's controlling the puck a little bit more, you can see it coming. It seems like he is making nice progress."

Bruins: The match against the Stars will be the first of a five-game homestand. Forward Loui Eriksson, who has missed five straight games with a concussion, will be back in the lineup against his former team. The 28-year-old wing was cleared for contact on Tuesday. The Bruins enter the contest having lost three of their past four games, including a lethargic 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. Coach Claude Julien wasn't too pleased with his team's effort.

"I don't know what you want to call it but I call it 'not good enough,' " Julien told reporters. "There's no way in the world you should come in here [to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum] and play the way you play. We're not competing hard enough."

Who's hot: Bruins center David Krejci has a goal and five points in the past five games. … Seguin has two goals and five points in the past four games.

Injury report: Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (undisclosed) is day-to-day. … There are no injuries to report for Dallas.

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