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Stars-Panthers Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars

Friday February 13
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (25-21-8) won 5-3 at Boston on Tuesday. Dallas scored two shorthanded goals, including Trevor Daley’s game-winner in the second period. The Stars went 2-1-0 on their three-game road trip, losing the first game in Buffalo and then bouncing back to beat the New York Rangers and the Bruins.

“I liked the way we battled and competed after giving away two points the first night and finding a hard way to end up with a good road trip,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “Like to build off that, take that compete and some of that desperation-shot blocking, with the simple type of game we played, bring it home here and play a good home game.”

The NHL suspended Stars forward Antoine Roussel two games for cross-checking Boston’s Adam McQuaid in Tuesday’s game. Roussel is eligible to return Tuesday at St. Louis.

Stars center Tyler Seguin (illness) did not practice Thursday but is expected to play Friday.

The Stars acquired goaltender Jhonas Enroth from Buffalo on Wednesday for goaltender Anders Lindback and a conditional third-round pick in 2016. Enroth will join the team on Friday.

Injuries: LW Antoine Roussel (suspension), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Panthers

The Panthers (24-18-11) lost 2-1 at Minnesota Thursday. Florida went 0-5 on the power play, and Minnesota scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on one of their two chances with the man-advantage.

“Close game,” said forward Nick Bjugstad, who scored Florida’s lone goal. “We had our chances on the power play and they scored on the power play. A lot of times in tight games like this it turns into a special teams battle, and we didn’t capitalize.”

The loss snapped a four-game points streak for the Panthers.

Florida defenseman Dmitri Kulikov left Thursday’s game in the final minutes after going hard into the end boards. His status is not known.

Thursday’s game wraps up a two-game road trip for the Panthers.

Injuries: C Brandon Pirri (upper body) and D Willie Mitchell (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings this season between the Stars and Panthers.

*The Stars were 0-2-0 vs. Florida last season.

*The Panthers have won four straight games in Dallas.

*The Stars are 11-10-6 all-time vs. Florida.

Statistical tidbits

*Stars rookie defenseman John Klingberg has 16 points (six goals, ten assists) over his past 13 games. He ranks second among NHL rookie defensemen with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists).

*Florida’s Aaron Ekblad leads NHL rookie defensemen with 31 points (9 goals, 22 assists).

*The Stars are winless in their last three games at home (0-2-1) and 1-3-1 in their last five at American Airlines Center.

*Florida has lost four straight on the road.

*The Stars are 11-10-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*The Panthers are 10-8-4 vs. the Western Conference, including 1-5-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 10-29 (34.5 percent) on the power play over the past eight games.

*The Panthers have allowed eight power play goals over the past seven games and are 11-19 (57.9 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Florida has not scored a four-on-four goal this season.

*The Stars have allowed seven four-on-four goals, second most in the league.

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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