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Stars-Devils Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

New Jersey Devils at Dallas Stars

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

About the Stars

The Stars (24-21-8) are coming off a 4-3 loss to Colorado at American Airlines Center on Monday. The Stars overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to get the game tied 3-3 after two periods, but the Avalanche scored the game-winner early in the third. Dallas had a 44-21 shots advantage in the game, but Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov was superb in goal, stopping 41 shots.

“Throw out the first five minutes and we dominated. Their goalie stole the show,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We had a lot of great opportunities late. We couldn’t get it to go. We probably had five or six point blank chances in the second to blow the game open and he was there and made some saves.”

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Stars, who conclude a five-game homestand with Thursday’s game against New Jersey. The Stars are 3-1-0 in the first four games.

Captain Jamie Benn did not practice Wednesday. He was off the ice for maintenance, according to Ruff.

“It’s preventative so we can get ahead of this and it won’t escalate or get any worse,” Ruff said. “If this was a game day he’d be playing. It’s nothing I am worried about. You’re always a little concerned and we erred on the side of caution on this one.”

Injuries: D Stephane Robidas (leg) is out.

About the Devils

The Devils (22-21-11) are coming off a 3-0 loss at St. Louis Tuesday. It was the second straight loss and third in the last five games for the Devils, who had defeated St. Louis, 7-1, in New Jersey last week.

“There's not many silver linings this time of year,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “We're in the home stretch here, we've got to find a way to get points. We didn't score. We didn't generate enough offense.”

The Devils, who were shut out for the sixth time this season, are two points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and three points out of third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Thursday’s game is the second of a three-game road trip for the Devils. They wrap up the trip Friday in Nashville.

Injuries: D Peter Harrold (foot) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the second and final meeting this season between the Stars and Devils.

*The Stars are 0-1-0 in the season series.

*The Devils are 1-0-0 in the season series.

*January 9, Dallas at New Jersey: Devils 1, Stars 0

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have scored on the power play in eight straight games and are 10-28 (35.7 percent) with the man-advantage during that stretch.

*New Jersey, which is 20-22 (90.9 percent) on the penalty kill over the last seven games, ranks second in the NHL on the PK at 86.7 percent.

*The Stars are 16-17 (94.1 percent) on the penalty kill over the last six games.

*New Jersey is 8-26 (30.8 percent) on the power play over the last eight games.

*The Stars rank fifth in the league with an average of 32.0 shots per game.

*New Jersey allows the fewest shots against in the NHL at 25.6 per game.

*New Jersey has been shut out six times this season, tied for the fourth highest total in the NHL.

*The Dallas Stars have been shutout once, which came at the hands of the Devils January 9 in New Jersey.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has eight points (three goals, five assists) over the last four games.

*Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski has seven assists over the last four games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (23) and points (51).

*Michael Ryder and Jaromir Jagr lead the Devils in goal scoring with 16 each. Jagr leads the Devils in points with 44.

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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