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Stars shoot for third straight, Red Wings return home

by David Kalan

STARS (7-6-2) at RED WINGS (9-5-2)


Last 10: Dallas 5-3-2; Detroit 5-3-2

Season series: This is the first meeting between the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings. Detroit won two of three games against Dallas in 2012-13, including a 3-0 win at American Airlines Center on the last day of the regular season.

Big story: The Red Wings return home from a four-game road trip to face the Stars, who are trying to build momentum after winning back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

Team Scope:

Stars: Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley arrived in Dallas in one of the biggest trades of this past offseason with Loui Eriksson heading in the opposite direction to the Boston Bruins. On Tuesday night Seguin and Peverley made a statement to their old team in their first trip back to Boston since the deal, as each scored in the shootout to lift the Stars to a 3-2 win.

"Obviously, it's a great game to win. It will be nice to move on a little bit," Seguin said. "This has been in my head a little bit. You try and put it away when you are playing other games, but it's still there. You are still thinking about coming here to this town. Like I said, the win felt great."

Perhaps more important than Seguin and Peverley's revenge was Dallas got its second win in a row. While the Stars are still in sixth place in the Central Division, each point is pivotal in what is shaping up to be a tight playoff race in the Western Conference. Despite the consecutive wins, however, the Stars still face an uphill climb. Both wins came in shootouts and Dallas has just two wins in regulation in its past 12 games.

Only one team in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers, has fewer regulation/overtime wins.

Red Wings: Detroit came within one game of a perfect 4-0-0 road trip, but instead of getting an impressive sweep through Western Canada, the Red Wings looked tired playing their third game in four nights and were doubled up 4-2 by the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The loss came despite a superb outing by goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 43 saves.

"They played better than we did," coach Mike Babcock said Monday. "I think from start to finish they were the better team. We didn't look like we had much energy. We didn't skate well. We didn't execute well."

The Red Wings are still tied for first place in the Atlantic Division despite having a negative overall goal differential. They'll get to stay put for a while; the Red Wings play seven of their next eight games at Joe Louis Arena.

Who's hot: Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 67 of 72 shots in Dallas' past two games. Lehtonen has just one regulation loss in his past five starts. … Pavel Datsyuk has a goal and three assists in his past three games for the Red Wings.

Injury report: Dallas reported no injuries. ... Detroit backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson (neck) is close to returning. Forward Johan Franzen (illness) has missed two straight games and will not play Thursday night while defensemen Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder) are on injured reserve.

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