Devils-Stars Preview

Despite having their three-game winning streak come to an end in their last contest, the Dallas Stars are trying to take the positives away from a game they largely dominated.

The same can’t be said for the New Jersey Devils.

Dallas looks to finish its five-game homestand on a high note while dealing New Jersey a third straight defeat Thursday night.

The Stars (24-21-8) outscored opponents 14-1 in victories over Minnesota, Toronto and Pittsburgh to begin their home stretch, but fell 4-3 to Colorado on Monday despite outshooting the Avalanche 44-21.

Tyler Seguin scored twice and added an assist while captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for Dallas, which fell to 0-4-3 when recording at least 40 shots.

”(We didn’t play well) the first five minutes,” coach Lindy Ruff said. ”After that, we dominated. ‘We had five or six point-blank chances in the second to blow the game apart."

Kari Lehtonen stopped 66 of 67 shots during the Stars’ winning streak but let in four goals on 21 shots Monday. Dallas battled back from a two-goal deficit in the first period as each of Seguin’s goals tied the game before Colorado scored the winner 4:13 into the third.

"We had a bit of a tough start there, but we did a lot of good things in the game," said Benn, who has three goals and five assists in his last four games. "I think we outworked them. They capitalized on a couple lucky goals there, and that’s the game."

Seguin’s first goal extended the Stars’ streak of scoring on the power play to eight games and also ended a personal 12-game goal drought.

"It felt good," Seguin said. "Felt like I lost the monkey off my back for sure, getting that goal. I’ve been thinking about it, but not as much as of late because of winning games."

New Jersey (22-21-11) is hoping to get back on track. It fell 7-3 to the New York Rangers on Sunday at Yankee Stadium before getting blanked for the first time in 35 games in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to St. Louis.

The Devils scored in four straight with the man advantage before going 0 for 4 against the Blues. They’ll now face a Dallas team that has killed 16 of its last 17 penalties.

"There’s not many silver linings this time of year," coach Peter DeBoer said. "We’re in the home stretch here, and we’ve got to find a way to get points. We didn’t score. We didn’t generate enough offense."

New Jersey has killed 20 of its last 22 penalties and ranks second in the NHL with an 86.7 kill percentage. Cory Schneider made 22 saves Tuesday and is 5-2-2 with a 1.19 goals-against average over his last nine starts.

"We’ve been doing a pretty job lately of manufacturing and getting some goals," Schneider said. "We’ve just got to find somebody to step up and score the big goal or maybe create something out of nothing."

Schneider, who stopped four of five shots after relieving Martin Brodeur to start the third period Sunday, could be in net for this contest. He’s 6-3-0 with a 2.13 GAA in nine career starts against Dallas.

Schneider made 26 saves in a 1-0 win over the Stars on Jan. 9, while Lehtonen made 33 saves for the Stars. Lehtonen has lost two of his last three starts against the Devils despite posting a 1.01 GAA.