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Stars hungry for success in unfriendly confines of Anaheim

Dallas looks to overcome six straight losses against Ducks at Honda Center, stretch win streak to six games

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer
Stars (25-14-4) at Ducks (17-21-5)

9 p.m., Honda Center

TV: FOX Sports Southwest; ESPN+

Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Stars are trying to battle little challenges every game, and they have a few in this contest.

One, the Stars are playing the second night of a back-to-back after winning 2-1 in Los Angeles Wednesday.

Two, former Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano will be playing for the first time against his old team at Honda Center.

Three, the Stars have lost six straight games at Anaheim and would like to break that losing streak.

Video: DAL@LAK: Bowness on Khudobin's 'fantastic' effort

The Ducks are 1-3-1 in their past five games and coming off a 4-3 loss to Columbus Tuesday. They are missing leading scorer Jakob Silfverberg due to injury.

"We're still looking for a consistent 60 (minutes)," defenseman Cam Fowler told reporters in Anaheim. "That's been something that's been hard to come by, and we're continuing to learn how to do that."

The Stars have won five straight and have had to come back from deficits in all five games. They are hoping to find a way to get the first goal and play a simpler style of game.

"It's been taking us a little while to get going in hockey games," said center Tyler Seguin. "Maybe because of that, we are confident, in a way. But, obviously, we'd like to start having better starts."

Video: DAL@LAK: Seguin says Stars 'greased out' two points

That said, being able to maintain calm and come back to win games is a nice trait for any team.

"I think it's a good quality to have as a team that if you get down a goal or two, you don't feel like you're out of it," said winger Blake Comeau. "We've finding ways to win coming from behind. It's an important thing for successful teams to be able to do, but also, we'd like to get out with a lead and start playing with the first goal."

Most importantly, the Stars say they know at the end of the night that they played an overall strong game in the face of adversity.

"You put that aside and you say 'OK, did we battle hard? Did we deserve to win the game?' " interim coach Rick Bowness said after Wednesday's win over Los Angeles. "The answer to that is yes. Yeah, we don't want to fall behind. That's not part of the plan, but if we do, we do and we deal with it.

 

What to watch

With John Klingberg out of the lineup, Esa Lindell continues to step up. Lindell on Wednesday played a team-high 24:23 and had two assists. He now has seven assists in the past four games.

"It's nice to see him get rewarded with points, but that doesn't motivate us one way or the other," Bowness said. "He plays his game. If the points are there, they're there."

 

Bishop gets nod in net for Stars

Ben Bishop will be in net for the Stars.

He is coming off a 4-2 win in the Winter Classic and is 14-9-3 on the season with a 2.33 GAA and .926 save percentage.

In his career against the Ducks, Bishop is 9-2-2 with a 1.64 GAA and .939 save percentage.

Because the Stars played Wednesday, we won't get an update on any lineup changes until just before warmup. Joel Kiviranta played his second career NHL game Wednesday and logged 11:39. Justin Dowling is a candidate to come in. He has been a healthy scratch for five straight games.

Tweet from @DallasStars: Corey Perry skated this morning at Honda Center. #DALvsANA | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/ph9gwpbXIv

Corey Perry will serve Game 3 of a five-game suspension and will not get to face his old team. He and Cogliano are expected to receive video thank you's on the big screen.

 

By the numbers
118

The Ducks have been on the power play 118 times this season, ranking 30th in the NHL. Dallas has been given the man advantage 124 times, ranking 26th.

 

.925

Dallas ranks first in save percentage at .925 as a team and also ranks first in goals against average at 2.40.

 

29

The Ducks have scored 29 third-period goals, tied for worst in the NHL with New Jersey. Dallas has allowed 36 third-period goals, ranking fourth-best in the league.

 

He said it

"Cogs is a super intelligent player. He's got a real good feel and beat on the game and his teammates. Just watching him in training camp, just watching the way he prepared for practice -- an outstanding individual when it comes to being a pro."

-- Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins on Cogliano

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Denis Gurianov - Roope Hintz - Joe Pavelski

Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Joel Kiviranta

Esa Lindell - Roman Polak

Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen

Andrej Sekera - Taylor Fedun

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: C Justin Dowling, D Joel Hanley

Injured: D John Klingberg (lower body), D Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), C Martin Hanzal (back)

Suspended: RW Corey Perry

Don't miss your chance to see the Stars take on the Buffalo Sabres when they return home to American Airlines Center on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika, and listen to his podcast.

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