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Stars-Hurricanes Preview

Wednesday, 02.26.2014 / 10:36 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Hurricanes Preview
Previewing Thursday night\'s game between the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes at Dallas Stars
Thursday, February 27
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (27-21-10) will be playing their first game out of the break and their first since Feb. 8, when they defeated Phoenix 2-1.

“I look for a great deal of urgency from our team,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I think on one side of it, Carolina will have a little bit of an advantage because they’ve had a game to get the rust off. For us, it’s creating enough urgency in our play to overcome not playing in two-and-a-half weeks.”

The Stars were 6-1-2 heading into the break, and that helped moved them into a playoff position when the league stopped play for the Olympics.

“We realized early [in the season] when we went on that pretty good stretch that when we play good hockey we can beat any team in the league,” forward Shawn Horcoff said. “For us now, it’s going to be important to keep that mentality, especially with 24 games in pretty much six weeks. There is no time to dwell on negatives, you have to stay positive and refocus for games. We’re playing three games every five nights, so there’s not a lot of time to practice and work on things, so we’ve got to stay focused.”

The Stars play their first three games and seven of their first nine out of the break at American Airlines Center.

Injuries: D Stephane Robidas (leg) is out.

About the Hurricanes

The Hurricanes (26-23-9) played the NHL’s first game following the Olympic break, falling 3-2 at Buffalo Tuesday night. Carolina’s Eric Staal tied the game with 3:08 left in the third period, but Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff scored with 43.4 seconds left to give Buffalo the victory.

"We had lots of chances," Staal said. "We had plenty of two-on-ones, three-on-ones, chances right in front of the net, rebounds, second-chance opportunities. The looks are there, you want to have that killer instinct, especially when it's a close game, to bury them. Tonight, (Sabres goaltender Ryan) Miller made a lot of good saves."

Carolina goaltender Cam Ward returned from a lower-body injury and stopped 15 shots in his first start since December 31.

Tuesday’s game was the first of five straight on the road for the Hurricanes, who were three points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference following Tuesday’s loss.

Injuries: D Joni Pitkanen (heel surgery) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Hurricanes.

*The two teams did not play last season.

*The Stars and Hurricanes last played November 6, 2011 in Raleigh with the Stars winning 5-2.

*The Stars are 38-25-6 all-time versus the Carolina franchise.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-1-1 in their last six games at home.

*The Hurricanes are 4-3-0 in their last seven on the road.

*In their final nine games before the Olympic break, the Stars allowed 1.33 goals per game and 23.7 shots per game.

*The Stars outscored their opposition 27-12 in posting a 6-1-2 mark in their final nine games before the break.

*The Stars are 8-10-2 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Carolina is 7-8-5 vs. the Western Conference.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (24) and points (56).

*Jeff Skinner leads Carolina with 23 goals.

*Eric Staal leads Carolina with 46 points.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 64 41 16 7 192 155 89
2 ANA 64 40 17 7 189 177 87
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 62 36 23 3 180 167 75
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
9 LAK 62 29 21 12 166 162 70
10 SJS 64 31 25 8 179 181 70
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 63 27 26 10 196 210 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 63 23 37 -3 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 63 15 37 -5 52
E. Cole 57 18 15 4 33
T. Daley 60 16 17 -10 33
J. Klingberg 49 10 23 1 33
C. Eakin 60 14 14 -2 28
A. Hemsky 57 9 17 -9 26
A. Goligoski 63 2 24 1 26
A. Roussel 61 12 11 -11 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 10 .905 2.97
J. Enroth 13 25 2 .900 3.30
 
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