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Stars-Hurricanes Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes
Saturday, April 1
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (31-35-11) are coming off a 2-0 loss at Boston on Thursday. It marked the 13th time in the past 16 road games that the Stars have scored two goals or fewer on the road, where the Stars have won just 11 of 39 games.

"We've had some bad luck scoring, we haven't scored enough, so I think that's the biggest issue [on the road]," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We scored one in Montreal, we scored one in New Jersey in regulation, and we didn't score tonight, so I think at the end of the night, it comes down to a little bit of the offense."

Stars forward Curtis McKenzie left Thursday's game after taking a high stick to the face. He went to a Boston-area hospital to have a cut near his eye closed.

He has a deep gash around his eye. Right now, it doesn't look like there is any permanent eye damage," Stars GM Jim Nill said. "But they will know more once the swelling goes down."

McKenzie, who spent the night in Boston, returned to Dallas on Friday. There will be no activity for McKenzie for five days and then he will be evaluated.

Stars forward Ales Hemsky left Thursday's game early in the third period with a hip issue. He is listed as day to day.

The Stars recalled forwards Gemel Smith and Justin Dowling from the Texas Stars of the AHL on Friday.

Saturday's game is the fourth of a five-game road trip for Dallas.

Injuries: Ales Hemsky (hip) is day to day. Curtis McKenzie (eye), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Patrick Sharp (hip surgery) and LW Antoine Roussel (hand) are out. C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) is on injured reserve.

About the Hurricanes

The Hurricanes (35-27-14) extended their points streak to 13 games (9-0-4) Thursday, defeating Columbus 2-1 in overtime at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Jeff Skinner tied the game with 4:20 left in regulation and Noah Hanifin scored 2:16 into the extra period.

"I just like seeing the growth among our team moving forward," said Hurricanes coach Bill Peters. "We're getting a lot of questions answered. I like the growth individually in players and the maturity of our group and the willingness to do it right. You learn how to win, and that's what it's all about this time of year."

With Thursday's win, the Hurricanes remained four points out of the second wild-card spot in the East with one game in hand on Boston.

Saturday's game wraps up a four-game homestand for Carolina.

Injuries: F Jay McClement (lower body), D Ryan Murphy (lower body), and G Eddie Lack (neck strain) are day to day.

Season Series

*This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Hurricanes.

*The Stars won the first meeting, 5-2, in Dallas on February 11.

*The Stars are 4-1-0 in their past five games at Carolina.

Statistical Tidbits

*Carolina's 13-game points streak is the longest in franchise history.

*The Hurricanes are 5-0-3 in their past eight games at home.

*The Stars have scored 27 goals in their past 16 road games (1.69 per game).

*Carolina is 22-23 (95.7 percent) on the penalty kill in their past 12 games.

*The Stars are 4-29 (13.8 percent) on the power play in their past 13 games.

*Carolina is 23-10-5 at home.

*The Stars are 11-23-5 on the road.

This story was not subject to 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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