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Stars-Predators Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Sunday, February 12
5:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (22-24-10) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Carolina Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center. The Stars jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, scoring three times in the first 6:11 of the game.

"It was a big start for us," said Stars defenseman Esa Lindell, who scored 51 seconds into the game. "It helps a lot to get the lead, and it gave us some confidence. It was big for us coming off the road where we had lost a couple of games."

Forward Patrick Eaves (2), Curtis McKenzie and Adam Cracknell also scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 of 24 shots.

Forward Jason Spezza, who has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, is traveling with the team and is close to a return, coach Lindy Ruff said.

Sunday's game opens a three-game road trip for Dallas.

"We need to play better on the road," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "Obviously, the last two we were close but weren't good enough. We have a tough one [Sunday] against Nashville, so we'll start with that one and move onto the next one after that." 

Injuries: C Jason Spezza (upper body) is day to day. D Johnny Oduya (ankle), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Predators

The Predators (26-21-8) lost 7-4 to Florida in Nashville Saturday afternoon. The game was tied 2-2 in the second period, but the Panthers blew it open with three straight goals in a span of 2:29 to take a 5-2 lead.

"We didn't play with any purpose," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "There's no passion, no effort. You're never going to win a hockey game. The actions that we gave were going to give us the results that we got. It's that simple."

Forward Viktor Arvidsson notched his first NHL hat trick for the Predators, who have lost two straight and four of their past six (2-4-0).

Sunday's game wraps up a two-game homestand and a stretch of five of six at home for Nashville.

Injuries: F Harry Zolnierczyk (upper body) and F Miikka Salomaki (lower body) are on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the fourth of five meetings between the Stars and Predators this season.

*The Stars are 2-1-0 vs. Nashville this season.

*Oct. 18, at Nashville: Stars 2, Predators 1
*Nov. 23, at Nashville: Predators 5, Stars 2
*Dec. 8, at Dallas; Stars 5, Predators 2

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 2-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

*The Predators are 4-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

*The Stars are 7-15-4 on the road.

*The Predators are 15-7-6 at home.

*The Stars are 8-11-4 vs. the Central Division.

*The Predators are 11-8-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in seven of the past nine games.

*The Predators have scored on the power play in six of the past eight games.

*The Stars have allowed a power-play goal in 16 of the past 19 games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has recorded 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his past eleven games.

*Patrick Eaves leads Dallas with 21 goals.

*Nashville's Viktor Arvidsson has scored six goals in the past five games and leads the Predators with 18 goals. 

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 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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