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Sat, Oct 23, 2010 - 8:00 PM ET
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Coming off one of their best performances of a successful start, the Dallas Stars are looking to build even more momentum as they open their second-longest homestand of 2010-11.

The Nashville Predators, meanwhile, are trying to get back on track as they begin a road-heavy portion of their schedule.

The Stars hope to open 3-0-0 at American Airlines Center for the first time since 2006-07 on Saturday night when they face a Predators club that's dropped three straight in overtime.

Following a 5-4 loss at Tampa Bay on Monday when it yielded four power-play goals and was outshot 44-19, Dallas (5-1-0) killed all three of Florida's chances with the man advantage Thursday and outshot an opponent for the first time this season in a 4-1 victory.

"It wasn't a great outing in Tampa," center Brad Richards told the Stars' official web site. "We talked about it as a group, players alone and staff alone, and we all knew that we needed a bounce-back game. So it was good."

Sparked by a career-high three assists from Jamie Benn, who returned from a three-game absence due to concussion-like symptoms, the Stars continued their best start since opening 8-1-0 four seasons ago. Tom Wandell had his first career two-goal game and Steve Ott added a goal, with each getting an assist from Benn.

"That was a tremendous performance from the line of Wandell, Ott and Jamie Benn coming back into the lineup," coach Marc Crawford said. "That takes pressure off the (other) lines."

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen has taken plenty of pressure off a Stars club being outshot by an average of 13.3. Lehtonen, who has a 2.60 goals-against average while starting each game, was denied his first shutout of the season Thursday with 3:06 remaining.

"We've been able to start well, and that's been great," said Lehtonen, who is 3-0-0 with a 1.95 GAA in three starts against Nashville. "I'm not going to say it's surprising. It's just that everybody's been working hard, and that's the result."

While Dallas opens a stretch of six straight at home, the Predators (3-0-3) play 12 of their next 15 on the road.

Nashville capped off a 1-0-3 homestand Thursday with a 4-3 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. The Predators, who have played a league-low one road game, led three times on goals by David Legwand, Cody Franson and Patric Hornqvist, but suffered their third straight defeat in an extra session.

The only team in the NHL without a regulation loss, Nashville remains without standout defenseman Ryan Suter, who suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Calgary.

"People don't realize how good Ryan is," coach Barry Trotz said. "... We miss him. There is no question."

Nashville may especially miss Suter on the power play. The Predators are 1 of 15 with the man advantage in their last three games.

If Pekka Rinne makes his third straight start in net, he will try to help the Predators earn a better result than their last visit to Dallas - a 6-0 loss on Oct. 14, 2009.

Richards had a goal and two assists in that victory, while forward James Neal recorded a career-high three assists. Neal needs a goal to score in a career-best five straight games.

Dallas is 17-4-1 all-time at home versus Nashville.

Tagged: Stars, Predators, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Suter, Tom Wandell, Jamie Benn

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