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Stars-Flames Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Thursday, December 17

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (23-6-2) are coming off a 5-1 win over Columbus at American Airlines Center on Tuesday. The Stars got off to a slow start in the first period but blew open a 1-1 game with three quick goals late in the second. Still, coach Lindy Ruff was not happy with the game, especially the first period when the Stars were dominated by the Blue Jackets, who had played the night before.

“I’m frustrated because we had a total lack of mental focus. I know we won 5-1, but we’ll lose games when we play like that,” Ruff said. “We’ve worked hard to get to where we’re at, and we’re on a bit of a roller coaster ride with how we’re playing right now. I have to straighten that out.”

Tyler Seguin scored two goals, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 34 of 35 shots in Tuesday’s win.

Dallas has won seven of its past eight games at home and is 6-1-2 in its past nine games overall.

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

Injuries: None

The Flames (14-14-2) won their sixth straight game with a 2-1 overtime victory at Nashville on Tuesday. Kris Russell scored 1:23 into overtime for the Flames, who are 8-1 in 3-on-3 OT this season and 9-2 in games that have gone beyond regulation.

"That's a big win for us after a pretty tough first period," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "That team works hard, and they really come. They skate. They were aggressive, I felt, all night. As the game went on, I thought we got better and better.”

Tuesday’s win snapped a four-game losing streak on the road for Calgary.

The Flames lost forward Michael Frolik to an upper-body injury during the game. He flew back to Calgary Wednesday and will miss the remainder of the team’s road trip.

Thursday’s game is the second of a four-game road trip for the Flames.

Injuries: F Michael Frolik (upper body) and F Lance Bouma (leg) are out.

*This is the second of three meetings between the Stars and Flames.

*The Flames won the first meeting on Dec. 1, rallying from a 3-0 third-period deficit to defeat the Stars, 4-3, in a shootout.

*The Stars are 9-2-2 vs. the Western Conference including 6-0-2 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Flames are 6-8-1 vs. the Western Conference including 3-4-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 7-1-0 in their past eight games and 12-3-0 at home this season.

*The Flames are 2-6-1 in their past nine road games and 4-9-2 away from home this season.

*The Stars lead the NHL in goal scoring at 3.42 goals per game.

*The Flames rank last in the NHL in goals against at 3.43 goals per game.

*The Stars are 5-42 (11.9 percent) on the power play over their past 13 games.

*The Flames are 2-44 (4.6 percent) on the power play over their past 13 games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn leads the NHL with 20 goals.

*Stars center Tyler Seguin ranks second in the NHL with 42 points.

*Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau is tied for seventh in the NHL with 32 points.

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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