NHL

Stars-Hurricanes Preview

The Dallas Stars are doing all they can to remain a serious playoff contender.

Looking to secure a winning trip Thursday night, the Stars face a Carolina Hurricanes team that's set to miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season.

Dallas (30-27-10) improved to 2-1-0 on a five-game trip with Tuesday's 2-1 victory at Philadelphia. Vernon Fiddler scored the go-ahead goal with a little more than 6 minutes to play for the Stars, who have followed an 0-4-2 slide by winning three of four.

Though Dallas is 12th in the Western Conference and eight points behind Winnipeg for the final wild-card spot, it hasn't lost hope.

"We're still trying to pick up as many points as we can, keep it at least close going into April," captain Jamie Benn told the Stars' official website.

Fiddler has helped the cause with four goals in four games after going without a point in the previous eight contests.

"Everybody is trying to contribute, and I think (Fiddler) has been doing a great job of late," said Benn, who has only two assists in the six contests that followed his eight-game point streak. "He's a leader on this team and he's been stepping up his play."

After scoring twice during Saturday's 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay in his return from missing 10 games with a knee injury, Dallas' Tyler Seguin was held without a point Tuesday.

He's scored five times during a four-game goal streak against the Hurricanes (25-32-8) - two of which came during a 6-4 loss Nov. 18. Benn had a goal with an assist and Fiddler added an assist as the Stars blew a 2-0 lead by allowing five straight Carolina goals.

Eric Staal had two goals with an assist in that meeting for Carolina, which fell to 1-1-1 on a five-game homestand with Tuesday's 4-3 shootout loss to Columbus.

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead and led 3-1 after one period before being stymied by Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets.

"I thought we stopped working, to be honest with you. I don't think we competed as hard, and we didn't execute very well with the puck," coach Bill Peters told the Hurricanes' official website. "We maybe thought it was going to be easy and continue to get two or three a period without putting the work in, but it doesn't work that way."

With two more power-play goals, the Hurricanes are 5 for 9 in the last two games. However, Edmonton and Columbus went 5 for 8 with the man advantage in those contests. In the 34 games prior to those two, Carolina opponents went 4 for 78 (5.1 percent) on the power play.

"There are some new people on that are going to have to dig in and figure it out," Peters said. "We're going to have to take what was once a strength and is now a weakness, obviously, and turn it back into a strength."

Carolina's Cam Ward has a 3.73 goals-against average during a 2-1-1 stretch. Though he has hasn't faced the Stars at home since November 2011, Ward is 2-2-0 with a 4.42 GAA against them there.

While Ward made 23 saves at Dallas in November, Kari Lehtonen was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More NHL