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Preview: Stars look to even season series with Ducks

Faksa, Lindell could be ready to return; Lehtonen gets the nod in goal for Dallas

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge
Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars 

Friday, March 9 
7:30 p.m.  
TV: Fox Sports Southwest  
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


About the Stars

The Stars (37-24-6) lost 2-0 at Nashville on Tuesday. Nashville's Ryan Hartman snapped a scoreless tie at 5:33 of the third period and Nick Bonino sealed the win with an empty-net goal as the Predators won their ninth straight game and snapped the Stars' point streak at four games. Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was superb in net, stopping 32 of 33 shots.

"Kari played a great game tonight. He kept us in it and gave us a chance to try and win the game," said Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis. "They played really well and made it hard on us. In the end, we could have been better. It's disappointing not to get the win."

The Stars fell to 4-5-2 in their last 11 games.

C Radek Faksa (foot) and D Esa Lindell (illness), who both have missed the last two games, practiced Thursday. If they are feeling fine Friday morning, they will play against the Ducks.

G Ben Bishop (knee) is out. He could start skating next week. C Martin Hanzal (back) is out long-term, and an update on his status is expected Friday.

Lehtonen will get the Stars Friday against Anaheim. 

The Stars play Friday at home and then play their next six games on the road.

Injuries: C Radek Faksa (foot) and Esa Lindell (illness) are probable. G Ben Bishop (knee) and C Martin Hanzal (back) are out.

Video: What sticks out the most about this team?


About the Ducks

The Ducks (34-22-12) lost 4-2 at Nashville on Thursday. The Ducks were down 3-0 after two periods but made it interesting by cutting the lead to 3-2 in the third before the Predators scored on an odd-man rush late in the game to seal the victory. Nashville won its 10th straight, while the Ducks had a three-game winning streak end.

"We played good at the end of the game," Ducks forward Rickard Rakell told media after the game. "We kept coming at them. We know we can be a good team if we play like that for 60 minutes."

The Ducks lost in regulation for just the second time in the last 10 games (7-2-1).

John Gibson got the start in goal Thursday for Anaheim so Ryan Miller, who tossed a 41-save shutout against Dallas on Feb. 21, could get the start on Friday.

Friday's game concludes a two-game road trip for Anaheim.

Injuries: F Patrick Eaves (illness) is out.


Season Series
  • This is the second of three meetings between the Stars and Ducks.

  • The Ducks won the first meeting, 2-0, in Anaheim on Feb. 21.


Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 23-10-3 at home.

  • The Ducks are 15-13-7 on the road.

  • The Stars are 12-7-0 vs. the Pacific Division.

  • The Ducks are 7-6-2 vs. the Central Division.

  • The Stars rank fourth in the NHL in goals against at 2.60 per game.

  • The Ducks rank sixth in goals against at 2.65 per game.

  • The Stars have scored 20 goals over the last 11 games (1.82 per game).

  • The Stars have scored two goals or fewer in eight of the last 11 games and have been shut out three times during that stretch.

  • The Stars are 4-36 (11.1 percent) on the power play over the last 13 games.

  • The Stars are 19-20 (95.0 percent) on the penalty kill over the last five games.

  • The Ducks are 25-25 on the penalty kill over the last nine games and 35-36 over the last 13 games.

  • Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (36) and points (62).

  • Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks in goals (30) and points (58).

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

Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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