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Stars-Senators Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars

Tuesday January 13, 2015
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Channel Guide)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (18-16-7) are coming off a 4-3 loss at Colorado Saturday afternoon. The Stars led 2-0 after one period, but the Avalanche scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead in the game by early in the third period.

“We have to find a way to play a solid 60 minutes, especially when we’re halfway done with the year now,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “There’s only going to be tight games from here on in, so we have to find a way to play a full 60 minutes and win those one-goal games.”

The loss extended the Stars’ winless streak to four games (0-2-2). They’ve allowed 16 goals during those four games.

C Tyler Seguin (illness), LW Jamie Benn (undisclosed injury) and C Vernon Fiddler (lower body) did not practice Monday. All three are questionable. LW Erik Cole, who missed Saturdays’ game due to illness, did practice Monday.

Stars center Jason Spezza will play his first game against Ottawa since being traded from the Senators to the Stars during the offseason. Spezza played 11 seasons with Ottawa.

“I don’t think it’s that bad with them coming here because it is on your turf,” Spezza said. “Going to Ottawa (Jan. 29) is going to be strange for sure, to walk into the building and into the visitors room.”

Tuesday’s game kicks off a three-game homestand for the Stars, who play four of their five games before the All-Star break at American Airlines Center.

Injuries: C Tyler Seguin (ill), LW Jamie Benn (undisclosed injury) and C Vernon Fiddler (lower body) are questionable. RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Senators

The Senators (17-16-8) won 5-1 at Arizona Saturday to end a three-game winless streak. Ottawa scored twice on the power play, ending an eight-game drought with the man-advantage.

“Tonight, we were rewarded for our effort and that feels good,” Senators coach Dave Cameron said. “The power play results had been terrible, but we had been getting some good looks. Every power play in the League is streaky, and that's just the nature of the beast. You have to stick with it, and we did that.”

Former Stars forward Alex Chiasson, who was acquired by Ottawa in the Jason Spezza deal, has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 38 games for Ottawa. He and the Senators practiced at American Airlines Center Monday.

“I actually went the wrong way today,” Chiasson told the Senators official site. “[The trade] is part of the game. When the schedule came out, this is one of the first games you look at. I still have a lot of great friends on the other team. Last year with the playoff run, got close to guys. This organization gave me the first chance to succeed. I have only great things to say.”

Robin Lehner will start in goal for the Senators on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game will wrap up a four-game road trip for the Senators, who are 1-1-1 in the first three games.

Injuries: Mark Borowiecki (leg), Chris Neil (knee) and Zack Smith (wrist) are out.

Series Notes

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

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

*The Stars have won five straight games against Ottawa, including three at American Airlines Center.

*The Stars are 18-7-3 all-time vs. Ottawa.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 8-3-1 in their last 12 home games.

*Ottawa is 4-4-4 in its last 12 road games.

*The Stars are 6-6-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*The Senators are 8-6-3 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Stars have allowed four goals or more in 19 of 41 games this season.

*The Senators have scored four goals or more in 9 of 41 games this season.

*The Stars are 0-14 on the power play in the past three games.

*The Senators are 2-34 on the power play over the past nine games.

*Stars forward Ales Hemsky has four goals in the past seven games.

*Senators forward Mike Hoffman has six goals in the past ten games.

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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