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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 14th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (19-3-3) at Dallas Stars (12-11-2), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks have a chance at a fifth straight victory on Thursday night, but will be without forward Corey Perry as they visit the division-rival Dallas Stars.
Perry will serve the first contest of his four-game ban for an illegal hit against Minnesota's Jason Zucker in Tuesday's 2-1 road victory over the Wild. Perry caught Zucker with an elbow 4:21 into the second period, getting hit with a major for interference and a game misconduct.
The 27-year-old had four goals in his previous four games going into the encounter with the Wild and has logged nine goals and 15 assists in 25 games this season. He will not be eligible to return until next Friday versus Detroit.
Playing without Perry for most of the night on Tuesday, the Ducks were outshot 22-7 by the Wild through the first 40 minutes, but trailed by just a goal. Their offense then got going in the third period, logging 14 shots and getting the game-tying goal from Patrick Maroon 3:06 into the frame.
Defenseman Luca Sbisa later put home the game-winning goal with 3:04 left on the clock and Jonas Hiller made 30 saves to extend Anaheim's point streak to eight straight games (6-0-2).
"We knew (the Wild) had been playing well lately, especially at home," said Hiller. "We talked about being ready to go, but we weren't. We got the two points, though, and that's all that counts at the end of the day."
Anaheim, which moved to 10-2-1 this season when its opponent scores first, sits atop the Pacific Division with 41 points, four behind the Chicago Blackhawks for the most in the NHL.
Dallas is last in the division with 26 points, but that is only two back of a trio of teams for the eighth spot in the West.
The Stars, though, fell 4-0 to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday to begin a four-game homestand. Dallas lost its second straight overall and for the fourth time in its past six at home.
"We needed to be a little bit better in a bunch of areas," said Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan. "I thought early on we made a couple of young errors and some turnovers, especially with our defense in the back end. We need our big guys to step up when those situations happen and take control and we didn't do it."
Kari Lehtonen gave up all four goals on 21 shots for the Stars, who were shut out for the third time this season despite getting winger Ray Whitney back into the lineup. The 40-year-old had missed the previous 16 games with a broken foot and has six points in nine games.
Though Whitney returned, captain Brenden Morrow missed his second in a row with a strained groin, while Jamie Benn sat out Tuesday's game with a wrist ailment. Benn, who has 16 points in 19 games this season, is doubtful to play Thursday, while Morrow is questionable.
Benn was one of three goal-scorers for Dallas in its 3-1 home win over Anaheim on Feb. 8. Lehtonen added 20 saves as the Stars beat the Ducks for a fourth straight time and for the seventh time in the last eight encounters.
The Ducks have lost four straight and nine of their last 12 in Dallas.
03/14 10:54:16 ET