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Stars-Canucks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Thursday, October 29

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (7-2-0) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3, at American Airlines Center Thursday. The Stars trailed 3-0 after one period but scored three times in the second to tie and then scored late in the third to win for the sixth time in seven games.

“It’s huge,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said of the win. “You are going to face a lot of adversity throughout a year, and we faced some tonight. When you come out with a win with such a great team game, it feels good.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff juggled his lines after the Stars fell behind Tuesday and stuck with those lines in Wednesday’s practice. Among the changes was moving Cody Eakin back to center the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Defenseman Jason Demers will return to the lineup Thursday after serving a two-game suspension for elbowing Pittsburgh’s Nick Bonino.

Thursday’s game is the third of a four-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: LW Travis Moen (upper body), LW Curtis McKenzie (lower body) and RW Patrick Eaves (lower body) are out.

The Canucks (4-2-3) won 5-1 over Montreal Tuesday, snapping the Canadiens season-opening winning streak at nine games. The victory was Vancouver’s first at home this season after a 0-2-3 start.

“It's a huge measuring stick against probably the best team in the league right now," Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows said. "We really wanted that first win at home probably more than they wanted that ten-game winning streak.”

D Dan Hamhuis was a late scratch in Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury and is out for Thursday. F Brandon Prust suffered an ankle injury in Tuesday’s game and is out for Thursday as well. The Canucks recalled D Alex Biega and F Brendan Gaunce from Utica (AHL).

Thursday’s game begins a two-game road trip that will see the Canucks play back-to-back at Dallas (Thursday) and Arizona (Friday).

Injuries: D Dan Hamhuis (lower body), F Brandon Prust (ankle), F Chris Higgins (foot) and G Jacob Markstrom (hamstring) are out.

*This is the first of three meetings between the Stars and Canucks.

*The Stars were 3-0-0 vs. Vancouver last season.

*The Stars have won seven straight games vs. the Canucks.

*The Stars are 87-67-25 all-time against Vancouver.

*The Stars are 3-1-0 at home.

*The Canucks are 3-0-0 on the road.

*The Stars have scored three goals or more in seven of nine games and were tied for fifth in goals scored at 3.44 per game through Tuesday.

*The Canucks were tied for fourth in goals against at 2.00 per game through Tuesday.

*The Stars ranked third on the power play through Tuesday at 30.0 percent (9-30).

*The Canucks were tied for fifth on the penalty kill at 88.0 percent (22-25).

*The Stars ranked fourth on the penalty kill at 88.5 percent (23-26).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn led the league in goals (8) and points (15) through Tuesday’s games.

*Brandon Sutter leads the Canucks with 7 points and 19-year-old Jared McCann leads Vancouver with 4 goals.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 9-7-0 vs. Vancouver with a 2.61 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

*Lehtonen has won his last seven starts against the Canucks, posting a 1.42 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.

*Stars goaltender Antti Niemi is 11-9-2 vs. Vancouver with a 2.57 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

*Vancouver’s Ryan Miller has a 1.97 goals-against average, ranking eighth in the NHL through Tuesday.

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 DallasStars.com 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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