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Predators aim to end goal drought in clash with Stars
(Sports Network) - After getting shut out in consecutive games the Nashville Predators will try to get something going on offense when they host the Dallas Stars in Monday's clash at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators have gone 120 minutes without a goal since Shea Weber scored the overtime winner in Tuesday's 4-3 decision against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Nashville was then handed a 1-0 regulation setback by the Vancouver Canucks in Friday's home game before falling 4-0 in Detroit the following night.
Nashville fired 33 shots at Jimmy Howard on Saturday, but the Red Wings goaltender stopped all of them for his first shutout of the season.
"When you come into this building you have to bring your best game with you," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "I thought we played well at times, but they were just better than us tonight."
Pekka Rinne gave up all four goals on 27 shots for the Predators, who have dropped four of their last five games.
Nashville has played the last three games without centerman Paul Gaustad and he is expected to miss another test on Monday. Gaustad is especially missed in the faceoff circle, where he's won 62.6 percent of his 238 draws this season.
The Preds are 4-2-3 as the host this season, but they have won two of three and five of their past eight home tests against Dallas. Despite losing the last two meetings in this series, the Stars have won four of the previous seven battles against Nashville.
Dallas began a three-game homestand with consecutive regulation losses but salvaged the finale with Saturday's 3-1 decision against San Jose. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 31 shots to notch his first NHL victory in the triumph at American Airlines Center.
"Of course it's a great feeling to get your first win," Nilstorp said. "The guys did an amazing job in front me and helped me out today so I'm really thankful for that. It's a great feeling."
With No. 1 netminder Kari Lehtonen expected to miss a fourth straight game with a groin injury, Nilstorp will likely get the start over Richard Bachman on Monday. Lehtonen has been practicing and is considered day-to-day.
Jamie Benn and Jaromir Jagr each registered a goal and an assist in Saturday's win, while Michael Ryder added a power-play tally.
The Stars played their second straight game without Trevor Daley on Saturday, but the defenseman could return for Monday's contest.
Dallas is starting a brief two-game road trip that is set to end Tuesday in Columbus. The Stars are 5-5-0 as the guest this season.
02/25 10:57:16 ET