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Stars-Ducks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars


Sunday March 1, 2015
7:00 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (27-25-10) saw their winless streak hit five games (0-3-2) with a 5-4 shootout loss to Colorado at American Airlines Center Friday night. For the second time in a week, the Stars couldn’t hold a two-goal lead in the third period.

“The good teams don't lose two-goal leads,” said Stars center Jason Spezza. “You look around the league, the teams that are in the playoffs aren't giving those up. And that's why we're out of the playoffs, because we haven't been able to close out games that we have leads in. If you can't close out games when you have a two-goal lead, it's going to be tough.”

Sunday’s game is the second meeting of the season against the Ducks, the team that knocked the Stars out of the first round of last season’s playoffs.

"You've got to have that payback attitude where obviously they beat us last year in the playoffs, and we want to get the payback,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “The points are on the line, and we need them more than (the Ducks). We're just going to have to play desperate hockey."

Forward Patrick Eaves, who has missed seven games with a concussion, practiced Saturday and could play Sunday.

The Stars placed D David Schlemko on waivers Saturday.

Sunday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (concussion) is probable. C Tyler Seguin (knee), LW Travis Moen (upper body) and RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) are out.

About the Ducks

The Ducks (39-17-7) rallied for a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Anaheim Friday. Trailing 2-0 after two periods, the Ducks rattled off four unanswered goals in the third period.

“We turned the corner tonight,” said Ducks center Ryan Kesler. “That’s the kind of hockey we need to start playing. Not just against LA, but against every team. We knew how well they were playing up until this game, and how few goals they were giving up. We were upbeat, and we definitely took it to them in the third period.”

The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Ducks, who are firmly in control of first place in the Pacific Division.

The Ducks made a trade Saturday, acquiring forward Tomas Fleischmann from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Dany Heatley and Anaheim’s third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. On Tuesday, the Ducks acquired forward Jiri Sekac from Montreal for forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

Injuries: D Sami Vatanen (leg), LW Matt Beleskey (shoulder) and C Nate Thompson (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Ducks won the first meeting, 2-1 in overtime, in Dallas on Oct. 31.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 6-7-3 since the All-Star break.

*The Ducks are 8-7-1 since the break.

*The Stars are 1-3-3 in their past seven home games and are 12-12-8 at American Airlines Center this season.

*The Ducks have won three straight on the road and are 18-8-4 away from home this season.

*The Stars are 10-3-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Ducks are 12-3-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have allowed 26 goals over their past five games, including 17 in the third period.

*Stars center Jason Spezza has registered 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games.

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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