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Stars-Canucks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars

Thursday, March 6
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (29-23-10) are coming off a 4-2 loss at Columbus on Tuesday. The Stars fell behind 3-0 in the first period, pulled to within 3-2 early in the third period but could never get the equalizer.

“That’s not the start we want in any game, especially this time of the year when every game’s going to be tight,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “There’s not going to be too many blowouts from now on, so you’ve got to come out with a strong start and be ready to go every game here.”

Despite the loss, the Stars continued to hold the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. They are one point ahead of both Phoenix and Winnipeg. Vancouver is two points behind the Stars.

The Stars acquired goaltender Tim Thomas from Florida just prior to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. The Stars sent goaltender Dan Ellis to Florida in the deal.

Stars forward Rich Peverley, who missed Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury, is expected to play on Thursday.

The Stars assigned forward Chris Mueller to the Texas Stars on Wednesday.

Injuries: None

About the Canucks

The Canucks (28-26-10) are coming off a 1-0 loss at Phoenix on Tuesday. The loss was the third straight (0-2-1) for the Canucks and their tenth in the last 11 games (1-9-1). The Canucks have scored just 15 goals during that eleven-game stretch.

"I think there's been some games (during the slump) that we've created scoring chances, but tonight we even had problems creating chances," said Canucks coach John Tortorella.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, the Canucks traded goaltender Roberto Luongo to Florida, leaving Eddie Lack as Vancouver’s No. 1 goaltender. Lack stopped 31 shots Tuesday night.

"He continues to impress and he was obviously our best player tonight," Tortorella said. "A lot of people haven't talked about him with all the Luongo stuff going on and you sometimes forget about what this kid has done. He stood in there tonight. I love the way he battles and he gave us a chance."

The Canucks received goaltender Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias in the Luongo deal.

On Wednesday, the Canucks traded defenseman Raphael Diaz to the New York Rangers for a fifth round pick in 2015.

Injuries: F Brad Richardson (undisclosed) is questionable. F Daniel Sedin (hamstring), D Andrew Alberts (concussion) and F Mike Santorelli (shoulder) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Canucks this season.

*The Stars are 2-0-0 in the season series.

*The Canucks are 0-2-0 in the season series.

*November 17, Dallas at Vancouver: Stars 2, Canucks 1

*December 19, Vancouver at Dallas: Stars 4, Canucks 1

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 8-3-2 in their last 11 games, including 2-2-0 since the break.

*The Canucks are 1-9-1 in their last 11 games, including 1-2-1 since the break.

*The Stars are 6-2-1 in their last nine home games.

*The Canucks have lost six straight on the road and are 1-10-1 in their last 12 away from home.

*The Canucks have scored eight goals over the last eight games and have been shut out twice during that stretch.

*Dallas Stars defensemen have scored five goals over the last four games, including four goals over the last two.

*The Stars have been outscored 6-0 in first periods over the last three games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (25) and points (58).

*Ryan Kesler leads the Canucks in goals (21). Henrik and Daniel Sedin are tied for the lead in points (40).

This story was not subject to the 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 Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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