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Stars visit Senators to start three-game trip

by Brian Compton

STARS (5-6-2) at SENATORS (4-6-3)


Last 10: Dallas 3-5-2; Ottawa 3-6-1

Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators. They will face each other again on March 22 in Dallas. The Stars have won the past three games between the teams.

Big story: Sunday marks the first of a three-game road trip for the Stars. All three games are against Eastern Conference opponents; they will also visit the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings before returning home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. Ottawa is winless in its past four games (0-3-1). The Senators blew 2-0 and 4-2 leads on home ice Friday in a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Team Scope:

Stars: Dallas will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak Sunday. The Stars lost 2-1 on the road to the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 29, then suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche at American Airlines Center on Friday night. Paul Stastny scored the game-winner at 3:36 of the extra session, his second goal of the night.

Dallas rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period on goals from Alex Goligoski and Tyler Seguin. The tying goal came with 3:29 to play.

"It is a big point," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We can talk about all the negative stuff in the first [period], but you can talk about all the work we put in to get back in the game in the second and the third. If you would have asked me after the second period if you'd be happy with a point, I would say if we could battle back and get a point, it would be a big point for our club. It's a small step in the right direction."

Senators: Ottawa's defense left goalie Robin Lehner out to dry again Friday. Lehner was peppered with at least 45 shots for the third time in four appearances this season, and his 53 saves weren't enough to help the Senators end their skid. Ottawa built a 2-0 lead late in the first period on goals by Erik Condra and Mika Zibanejad, and led 4-2 after second-period goals by Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur, but the Islanders continued to penetrate the Senators' zone. Frans Nielsen erased a 4-3 deficit at 3:14 into the third and had the lone goal in the shootout.

"We played very well the first five minutes of the game, I think, and then they took over," said Lehner, who made a team-record 53 saves. "They were very fast. They played with speed, they moved the puck, they shot a lot of pucks -- they had a good road game. They were in front of the net a lot and they took it to us.

"We were able to come back and get ahead, and then they took over the momentum for some reason. It was a weird game."

Who's hot: Seguin has two goals and two assists in his past three games for Dallas. … Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has a goal and six assists in the past five games and Ryan has a goal and two assists in the past two.

Injury report: Stars forward Ryan Garbutt is eligible to return from a five-game suspension. … Ottawa forward Eric Condra (leg) left Friday's game and isn't expected to play Sunday.

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