Ducks and Stars Square Off in Pacific Division Battle
Sunday, 12.18.2011 / 4:40 PM
NHL.comDUCKS (9-18-5) at STARS (18-12-1)
: VERSUS (HD)
: Anaheim 3-6-1; Dallas 5-4-1.
: This is the second of six season meetings between these Pacific Division rivals. Loui Eriksson had 2 goals and an assist in the first meeting, a 3-1 Dallas win on Oct. 21 in Anaheim.
: After winning three of five on its coast-to-coast road trip, Dallas returns home to face a team that hasn't won on the road since Oct. 27. The Ducks are 2-5-1 overall since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach in late November.
: Anaheim has been outscored 40-17 on their extended road losing streak, but a more pressing concern than offensive struggles is the recent play of goalies Jonas Hiller
and Dan Ellis
. Hiller is 0-5-3 with a 3.23 goal-against average in his last eight road starts, and Ellis fell to 1-5-0 with a 2.79 GAA on the season with Saturday's 5-3 loss to Winnipeg.
"There was a couple others where I didn't think the goalie did a good job of keeping us in the game when he needed to keep us in the game," said Boudreau. "They've got to make those saves."
: With starter Kari Lehtonen out with a groin injury and backup Andrew Raycroft struggling, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan called on rookie Richard Bachman during the first game of this most recent five-game trip. Bachman stopped all 10 shots he faced in that 5-2 loss to San Jose, then won each of the next three – including a shutout of the New York Rangers.
Bachman and Dallas couldn't keep the magic going Friday against New Jersey, losing 6-3 to end the 6,500-mile trip on somewhat of a sour note. Still, the Stars have a reliable keeper and a three-game homestand to keep improving. And even if Bachman gets a breather, Raycroft owns a 4-1-0 career mark against Anaheim.
: Teemu Selanne
is riding an 8-game point streak (2 goals, 9 assists). In Anaheim's last visit to Dallas on March 23, Selanne scored the game-tying goal with five seconds to play in regulation.Corey Perry
, who scored two in the loss to Winnipeg, will look for his fourth goal in as many games at American Airlines Center. … Since the start of 2009-10, Eriksson has 10 goals and 19 points against Anaheim.
: Anaheim alternate captain Saku Koivu
has missed four games after suffering a groin injury on Dec. 3 against St. Louis. Joining him on the injured reserve is Jason Blake
(left wrist surgery) and Matt Smaby
(right thumb surgery). … Winger Tomas Vincour (knee) and defenseman Philip Larsen (lower body) are questionable for Monday's game. Typical starting goalie Kari Lehtonen (groin) hasn't played since suffering a groin injury on Nov. 26, and winger Adam Burish is also on the IR with a broken hand.