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Stars-Canucks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks

Wednesday December 17, 2014
9:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Channel Guide)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (11-13-5) are coming off a 4-3 win over New Jersey Saturday. It was the response the Stars were looking for after a 5-2 loss to Winnipeg. A loss that was followed by three hard practice days.

“I thought we dominated the possession, the shots, the chances. I thought we skated really well,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought the guys put in a lot of work and were very receptive to what we tried to do for a couple of days.”

Wednesday’s game kicks off a three-game road trip for the Stars that also includes stops in Calgary (Friday) and Edmonton (Sunday).

“We need two points in Vancouver and move on from there,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “We are behind the eight ball (in the playoff race) and need to get back into this thing.”

Forward Travis Moen, who missed Saturday’s game with an upper body injury, has practiced the past two days and is available to play.

Backup goaltender Anders Lindback, who is back from a five-game stint in the AHL, is expected to play one of the first two games of the road trip, but which one is not known.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Canucks

The Canucks (18-10-2) are coming off a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers Sunday in Vancouver. The Rangers scored on three odd-man rushes in the first seven minutes of the game to open a 3-0 lead over Vancouver.

“Embarrassing from shift one to the end,” Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin said. “We gambled way too much out there. We tried to create chances and cheated to do that. We have done that for a few games now where we haven't played up to our standards. We have been in the other games, but we just have been hiding our mistakes. Tonight we paid.”

The Canucks are winless in their last four games (0-3-1) and have been outscored 17-7 during that stretch. Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said the rough patch has him making a few tweaks to the way his team plays.

“We’re just trying to make changes that allow us to utilize our talent and what we are good at,” Desjardins said. “Certain lines are good at certain things and others have other strengths. We want to try to maximize that with our systems for all the lines.”

Wednesday’s game is the second of a four-game homestand for the Canucks.

Injuries: D Dan Hamhuis (lower body), RW Zach Kassian (finger) and LW Tom Sestito (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the second of three meetings this season between the Stars and Canucks.

*The Stars won the first meeting, defeating the Canucks, 6-3, in Dallas on Oct. 21.

*The Stars have won five straight games against Vancouver.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 6-2-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Canucks are 3-3-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 5-7-0 on the road.

*The Stars have lost four straight on the road and have been outscored 21-9 during that stretch.

*The Canucks are 7-4-1 at home.

*The Canucks are 18-19 (94.7 percent) on the penalty kill over the last six games and rank fourth in the league at 86.1 percent.

*The Stars are 4-16 (25.0 percent) on the power play over the last four games.

*The Canucks are 0-14 on the power play over the past five games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (23) and points (38).

*Radim Vrbata leads the Canucks with 12 goals. Daniel and Henrik Sedin co-lead the Canucks in points with 26.

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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