Ducks shoot for sixth straight, welcome in Stars
STARS (8-6-0) at DUCKS (9-7-1)
TV: FS-SW+ (HD), FS-W (HD)
Dallas 4-6-0; Anaheim 7-3-0
Second of six meetings this season. Teemu Selanne
passed Bobby Hull on the all-time goal-scoring list with his 611th career tally and Bobby Ryan
netted a pair as Anaheim claimed a 5-2 win in Dallas on Oct. 26.
Following a rough start to the season in which the Ducks lost their first three games by a 13-2 combined score and finished the month of October with a 4-7-1 record, everything has turned around since the calendar page flipped to November. They've won all five games they've played and surged into second place in the Pacific Division, just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Kings.
Like its opponent Friday, Dallas also started this month off on the right skate, scoring 11 goals in home victories over Pittsburgh and Phoenix. But the Stars have dropped the first two on a three-game road trip, managing only one goal in the process. Jamie Benn lit the lamp in the first period Thursday against the Kings, knotting the score at the time, but the Stars fell 3-1 on a pair of third-period goals.
"They're one of the best teams in the League," forward Adam Burish said of Los Angeles. "This was a fun game to play, and it will make us better down the road."
The first shutout this season by an Anaheim goaltender came courtesy of backup Curtis McElhinney
in a 1-0 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday. It was the first shutout of his career, and he had to earn it with a 27-save performance. The Ducks managed only 14 shots of their own, but veteran Saku Koivu
cashed one of those in early in the third period and McElhinney made sure it held up.
"It feels great," McElhinney said. "The last couple of games I've played it was five goals each night. This was a nice turn of events. To come back after a big game in San Jose (a 3-2 overtime win Tuesday) and be able to keep the winning streak alive felt good."
Brad Richards has been held scoreless over the past two games after registering 4 goals and 4 assists during a five-game points streak. However, he's shown dominance in the faceoff circle for the Stars, winning 20 of 26 draws (77 percent) against the Avalanche and Kings. … Koivu has 4 goals and 2 assists during a four-game points streak for the Ducks.
Nothing current for Dallas, but Anaheim defenseman Sheldon Brookbank
is day-to-day with a hamstring injury and there's a lengthy list of players on injured reserve -- defenseman Andy Sutton
(hand) and forwards Joffrey Lupul
(back), Jason Jaffray
(knee), Dan Sexton
(nasal surgery), Matt Beleskey
(concussion) and Kyle Chipchura
Stars forward Mike Ribeiro, a three-time 20-goal scorer, has yet to score one this season, but he's tied for fifth in the NHL with 13 assists. … Selanne, now 40 years old, has 18 points in 17 games this season. He last averaged better than a point per game during the 2006-07 season (94 points in 82 games).
This is the start of a home-and-home for Dallas, which gets three days of rest prior to the rematch Tuesday at the American Airlines Center. Anaheim is not so fortunate, beginning a three-game road trip Sunday in Chicago before traveling to Texas.