Series (Game 4 of 6)

Dallas leads 4-2

Game 1: Wednesday, October 21st
Game 2: Thursday, December 3rd
Game 3: Tuesday, December 8th
Game 4: Thursday, December 31st
Game 5: Monday, March 29th
Game 6: Thursday, April 8th

Ducks 3

(16-17-7, 39 pts)

Stars 5

(18-11-11, 47 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 31, 2009

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 T
ANA 1 1 13
DAL 1 3 15

L. Eriksson (Stars - LW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

B. Richards (Stars - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

S. Robidas (Stars - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Ducks-Stars Preview


Coming off a win over one of the Western Conference's top teams, the Dallas Stars try to beat one of the worst and post back-to-back victories for the first time in a month as they host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

Dallas (17-11-11) had lost five of six before winning three of its last five games, including Tuesday night's 5-4 home victory over Chicago.

It matched the most goals scored this season against the Blackhawks, who are tied for the best record in the West. Steve Ott scored the game-winner with 15:53 to play, and he matched a career high for points with two goals and an assist.

Marty Turco gave up at least three goals for a fifth straight start but stopped all 11 shots he faced in the final period with the help of five blocked shots by teammates.

"They played with their bodies on the line," coach Marc Crawford said. "It was their determination and desire to win. It was a great job by a lot of players. There weren't any passengers tonight."

A similar effort Thursday could result in Dallas winning consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 21-23 against New Jersey and Carolina. That's one of only two times the Stars have won back-to-back contests all season.

A big reason for their struggles has been a drop-off in scoring. After netting at least four goals nine times in its first 13 games, Dallas has reached that mark just five times in the past 26 contests, getting limited to two or fewer in 15 games during that span.

However, the Stars have scored at least three in each of their three matchups with the Ducks (16-16-7) this season. Dallas won the first two meetings but lost the last one, 4-3 in overtime at Anaheim on Dec. 8.

Ott has two goals and two assists in the season series, and in the only meeting in Dallas, he scored the go-ahead goal in a 3-1 victory Dec. 3. The center's 17 career points against the Ducks are his most versus one opponent.

The Stars have allowed four or more goals in five of their last seven games, but they're facing an opponent which may not have one of its top scorers.

Ryan Getzlaf, tied with Corey Perry for the team lead with 41 points, cut his right leg with his own skate during Saturday's 5-2 loss at San Jose and missed Tuesday's 4-2 home victory over Minnesota.

It was the first time Getzlaf missed a game this season, but Bobby Ryan stepped up to match a career high with three points -- two goals and an assist.

"We've been in desperation mode for 10-15 games," Ryan said. "We came out hard tonight and the guys were prepared. When a guy like Getz goes down, it really impacts everybody around the room. So some guys have to step up."

Ryan leads Anaheim with 19 goals and has a shot to make the United States' Olympic team, which will be announced Friday. Getzlaf, Perry and Scott Niedermayer were named to the Canadian squad Wednesday, while teammates Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu were selected to Finland's team.

Despite all of that talent, the Ducks have been very inconsistent offensively. They've split their last six games, scoring a combined three goals in the three losses and netting four in each of the three wins.

Anaheim has dropped three of four on the road and is facing a Stars team that is 7-1-2 at home since Nov. 21.