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Stars-Ducks Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars

Tuesday, October 27

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (6-2-0) had a five-game winning streak snapped with a 6-2 loss to Florida Saturday at American Airlines Center. The Stars took an early 1-0 lead, but the Panthers scored four straight goals to take control of the game.

"We didn't have our ‘A’ game,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Our execution wasn't sharp. It starts with your puck management, and it wasn't good. We made some big mistakes, and those small details killed us.”

Tuesday’s game continues a four-game homestand for the Stars. Despite Anaheim’s struggles early in the season, the Stars expect a tough test.

“They have been struggling, and that’s the type of team that scares me the most because the desperation usually gets ramped up,” Ruff said. “There’s a little bit of a rivalry between our two teams with the playoffs. We are going to have to play better than we did [Saturday] because they thrive off the rush, and if we do what we did the other night we will put ourselves in a bad way.”

Forward Ales Hemsky (hip) did not practice Monday but is expected to play Tuesday. Defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, a healthy scratch Saturday, is expected to be in the lineup vs. Anaheim. Defenseman Jason Demers will serve the final game of his two-game suspension.

Injuries: F Ales Hemsky (hip) is probable. D Jason Demers (suspended), F Travis Moen (upper body), F Curtis McKenzie (lower body) and F Patrick Eaves (lower body) are out.

About the Ducks

The Ducks (1-5-2) are coming off a 1-0 overtime loss in Chicago Monday night. It was the fifth time in eight games this season that the Ducks have been shut out. But the Ducks had the better of play Monday, outshooting the Blackhawks 39-24.

“It was the best game we played all year,” Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told the team’s official site. “We didn’t get the end result we wanted, but that’s the way we can play. We have to build on that now, and not get disappointed.”

Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa left Monday’s game late in the third period after taking a puck to the head and suffering a cut. There was no word on his status after the game.

Tuesday’s game is the fourth of a five-game road trip for Anaheim. The Ducks are 0-2-1 in the first three games.

Injuries: D Simon Despres (upper body) and D Josh Manson (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars were 1-1-1 against Anaheim last season.

*The Stars are 9-3-3 in their past 15 home games vs. Anaheim.

*The Stars are 67-31-15 all-time vs. Anaheim.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are averaging 3.38 goals per game, which ranks sixth in the league.

*Anaheim is averaging 0.75 goals per game, which is 30th in the league.

*The Stars are 8-27 on the power play and rank third in the league at 29.6 percent.

*The Ducks are 1-22 on the power play and rank 30th in the league at 4.6 percent.

*The Stars are 15-15 on the penalty kill over the past six games and rank second in the league at 90.9 percent.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL with eight goals.

*Benn and Stars center Tyler Seguin are tied for the league lead in points with 12.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 9-7-4 vs. Anaheim with a 2.39 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

*Stars goaltender Antti Niemi is 14-9-1 vs. Anaheim with a 2.51 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

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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