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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 12th (All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (14-10-5) at Nashville Predators (14-14-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars will try to rebound from a lopsided home loss when they kick off a three-game road trip in Thursday's tilt against the Nashville Predators.
The Stars, who have lost four of six and six of their last nine games, recorded a 5-1 win Saturday against visiting Philadelphia, but were slammed 6-2 in Tuesday's home tilt versus Chicago. The four-goal setback was Dallas' largest margin of defeat on home ice this season.
Dallas fell behind 2-0 in the opening period and Blackhawks extended that cushion to 5-0 before the Stars finally scored in the second stanza. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen gave up four goals on 19 shots before he was pulled 8:20 into the second period. Dan Ellis allowed two goals on 14 shots after that.
Antoine Roussel scored both goals for the Stars, who saw their six-game point streak (3-0-3) come to an end.
"Every game's a new game," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "They just outworked us. That's pretty much all it is."
Dallas played Tuesday's game without forward Vernon Fiddler, who is dealing with an upper-body injury and questionable for tonight. Fiddler, who played in Nashville from 2002-09, has two goals and six assists in 28 games this season.
The Stars will also stop in Winnipeg and Colorado after opening the swing on Thursday. Dallas actually has fared better on the road than at home this season, going 9-6-1 as the guest compared to a 5-4-4 mark in Big D.
Nashville will shoot for consecutive wins on Thursday after posting a 4-1 decision Tuesday night in New York City to end a five-game slide. Paul Gaustad recorded a goal and two assists to back a 28-save effort from Carter Hutton, as the Predators dealt the New York Rangers a loss at Madison Square Garden.
Rich Clune and Matt Hendricks each scored once and assisted on another to help the Predators halt their longest losing streak of the season. David Legwand also contributed a pair of helpers to the victory.
After Nick Spaling staked Nashville to a 1-0 lead in the first period, Clune ended a 31-game goal-scoring drought by beating Henrik Lundqvist with a backhand to make it 2-0 with 2:08 left in the opening stanza. Clune's last goal came against Phoenix on Mar. 28 of last season
"We got that first goal and didn't look back," said Clune.
Nashville will try to halt a four-game home losing streak when it plays the first of three straight at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday. The Predators, who are 6-6-2 as the host this season, last won in the Music City when they beat Phoenix on Nov. 25.
The Predators had won four straight in the series against Dallas before the Stars notched a 5-2 win in Nashville on April 12 of last season. That win gave the Stars victories in four of the past seven encounters at Bridgestone Arena.
Thursday's game marks the first of five scheduled meetings between the Stars and Preds.
12/12 10:40:44 ET
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