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Stars-Canucks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Thursday, December 3

9:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (19-5-1) had a six-game road winning streak snapped with a 4-3 shootout loss at Calgary Tuesday. The Stars had a 3-0 lead entering the third period, but the Flames scored two quick goal early in the period to cut the lead to one and then tied it on a goal with 2:18 remaining.

“We just stopped playing hockey,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We knew they were a desperate hockey team, and we knew they have some firepower. It was a pretty embarrassing loss.”

The Stars lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods.

Stars defenseman Jason Demers left Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury. He did not practice Wednesday and is day to day.

The Stars activated goaltender Kari Lehtonen from injured reserve on Wednesday and reassigned goaltender Jack Campbell to the Texas Stars of the AHL.

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

Injuries: D Jason Demers (lower body) is questionable.

The Canucks (9-9-8) lost their third straight game, falling 2-1 in overtime at Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Canucks took a 1-0 lead 7:39 into the game, but the Kings tied it on a Drew Doughty goal at 6:54 of the third and then won it on a Anze Kopitar goal at 2:02 of overtime.

“It's really tough," said Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who made 38 saves. “We were winning the game for almost 50 minutes and then [they got] a goal in the third and overtime. It's getting sick and tired right now losing in overtime. It's no fun.”

The Canucks have dropped their last seven games that have gone beyond regulation and are 1-8 in those games this season.

Vancouver went 1-1-2 on its just concluded four-game road trip.

Thursday’s game begins a four-game homestand for the Canucks.

Forward Brandon Sutter underwent successful surgery to repair a sports hernia Wednesday. He's expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Injuries: F Jake Virtanen (hip), F Chris Higgins (upper body), D Chris Tanev (hand) and F Ben Hutton (lower body) are day to day. F Brandon Sutter (sports hernia) is out.

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

*The Stars are 2-0-0 (4 points) in the season series.

*The Canucks are 0-0-2 (2 points).

*Oct. 29, at Dallas: Stars 4, Canucks 3 (OT)

*Nov. 27, at Dallas: Stars 3, Canucks 2 (SO)

*The Stars have won nine straight games against the Canucks, including the past four in Vancouver.

*The Stars are 6-0-1 in their past seven road games and 10-2-1 away from home this season.

*The Canucks are 3-4-3 at home this season.

*The Stars are 5-0-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Canucks are 2-2-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 3-19 (15.8 percent) on the power play over the past seven games.

*The Canucks have allowed a power-play goal in seven straight games and are 20-28 (71.4 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*The Canucks are 12-44 (27.3 percent) on the power play over the past ten games.

*The Stars are 28-31 (90.3 percent) on the penalty kill over the past nine games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL in goals (18) and ranks second in points (35).

*Stars center Tyler Seguin ranks third in the NHL in points (34).

*Canucks forward Daniel Sedin ranks fourth in the league in points (28).

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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