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Red Hot Stars Host the Flames Thursday

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

The Stars are in first place in the Western Conference and look to keep things rolling along as they host the Calgary Flames on Thursday (7:30 pm, FOX Sports Southwest, Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket). Dallas is 13-3-3 in its last 19 games and is 21-10-3 for 45 points on the season.

Dallas is even hotter at home, having gone 10-0-2 over the last 12 home games. The Stars are 12-3-2 this season at American Airlines Center – the second best home record in the Western Conference. Dallas has now collected points in each of its last 12 home games. The last time Dallas recorded a point in 12-straight home games was during the 2003-04 season, when the team collected points in 17-straight home games and went 13-0-4 during that stretch.

Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal Thursday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center. He’s a big reason the Stars are playing so well right now, among others. Lehtonen is 6-0-2 in his last eight games with a 1.96 goals-against-average and a .938 save percentage.

"(Kari) is feeling great and he'll play tomorrow," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "We've got the one game left before we get a couple days off, so our guys are pretty excited about it. We know it will be a tough test. Calgary would like nothing better than to come in here and get a win before Christmas and we want to keep it going."

The Dallas Stars have held the Pacific Division lead for 25 days (since Nov. 27) -- the longest they have controlled the division since the 2007-08 season when they lead it for 38 days from Feb. 1 - Mar. 11. San Jose overtook the Stars after winning their 10th straight game Mar. 11, 2008.

One reason for the surge has been the power play, which has added to the offense a lot lately. The Stars have scored a power play goal in six-straight games, going 7-for-26 (26.9%) in that stretch. The last time the Stars had six consecutive games with a power play goal was March 15-30, 2007 when they scored a power play goal in eight-straight.

Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson are both in the top-six in league scoring. Richards is tied-for-second with 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists), while Eriksson is tied-for-sixth with 36 (15 goals, 21 assists). Eriksson scored his 100th career goal Tuesday vs. Montreal and earned his ninth multi-point game of the season. The Stars are 7-1-1 this season when he earns a multi-point game (39-4-7 all-time).

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