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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Stars look to hit break on positive note

By Mark Stepneski

Tuesday was a travel day for the Dallas Stars, and it was a long flight back from Vancouver. That provided plenty of time for players to mull over Monday’s 7-1 loss to the Canucks.

“Guys were upset today. They didn’t need to be talked to,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said shortly after the team touched down in Dallas. “They knew they weren’t very good, weren’t good enough. I think you could go a step further and say they knew they had a real subpar performance last night. I expect them to be a lot better Wednesday.”

Crawford said he sees it as a positive that not much needed to be said by the coaching staff following Monday’s loss.

“It’s a great sign,” said Crawford. “It’s a mature group that’s won before and you really see the value of the people who have been there before –- [Brenden] Morrow, [Brad] Richards, [Jamie] Langenbrunner, [Stephane] Robidas –- those guys come to the forefront right now. That’s more important than anything I am going to do.”

Wednesday’s game against Edmonton at American Airlines Center will be the Stars’ final game before the All-Star break. They’re coming off two straight losses in which they’ve given up seven goals in each game.

“We’ve got to shore things up and stop the bleeding so to speak,” said Crawford.

And it’s a chance to put the last 120 minutes of hockey behind them and head into the break on a positive note.

“It’s before the break and you want to play well, you want to get a win,” goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who will start Wednesday, said after Monday’s game. “I am sure everybody is going to be ready. We’ve let a couple of games get away from us. It’s going to be a good test.”

Injury update: Benn, Wandell doubtful for Wednesday

The Stars are likely to be without forwards Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell when they take on Edmonton on Wednesday. Both players were injured in the second period of Monday’s game in Vancouver.

“They are probably out for tomorrow," Crawford said Tuesday. “We'll see where they are tomorrow. I'd say doubtful.”

Wandell was hit behind the Dallas net by Canucks forward Aaron Volpatti. Benn collided with Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler in the neutral zone.

Jeff Woywitka, who has missed the last two games, will be evaluated in the morning as well.

"We'll see [Wednesday] morning how he is," said Crawford. "He is a possibility, but we'll be careful too."

Notes

*With Benn and Wandell unlikely to play Wednesday, the Stars made some roster moves on Tuesday. They brought up forwards Aaron Gagnon and Travis Morin from the Texas Stars of the AHL. They also sent forward Francis Wathier back to Texas.

*The ECHL announced Tuesday that goaltender Tyler Beskorowany has been added to roster for the league’s All-Star game, which will be played Wednesday in Bakersfield, California. Forward Travis Morin, called up to Dallas from the Texas Stars on Tuesday, will play in the AHL All-Star Classic next week in Hershey, Pennsylvania.