Despite their slide, the Dallas Stars believe they can turn things around and possibly return to playoff position.
They can start by snapping a four-game skid and handing the visiting Ottawa Senators a season-high sixth straight defeat Saturday.
Dallas (32-26-11) began the week as the second wild card in the Western Conference but has fallen four points behind Phoenix after concluding an 0-3-0 trip with a 4-2 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. The Stars, who went 11-3-2 prior to the losing streak, were outscored 16-5 on the trip and managed three goals on 68 shots in the last two.
Though the Stars have work left in order to reach the postseason for the first time since 2008, they remain positive.
"It’s tough but at the same time, we played a lot better," Tim Thomas told the Stars’ official website after he made 25 saves against the Flyers. "We’re going to put it all together here."
Jamie Benn scored twice as Dallas showed fight after falling behind 2-0 to get within a goal in the second period and again in the third.
"If we play like that night after night, we’ll win," said coach Lindy Ruff, whose team lost a season-high six straight Jan. 2-12. ”We didn’t give up a lot in the game. We gave up four goals but we didn’t give up four goals on a lot of opportunities and zone time. Our puck movement was good.
"The margin of victory, that game could’ve went either way real fast.”
Benn has six goals in seven contests while teammate Tyler Seguin added two assists Thursday to give him six goals and eight assists during a seven-game point streak.
Kari Lehtonen could be in net after he sat following a 27-save performance during a 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday in his return from missing three games with a concussion.
Lehtonen made 33 saves and Seguin recorded an assist as Dallas extended its winning streak over Ottawa (28-28-13) to four with a 4-3 shootout victory Nov. 3. Though the Stars are in the midst of a 7-1-2 stretch against the Senators, each of the last five meetings has been decided by one goal.
Erik Karlsson had a goal with an assist and Jason Spezza added two assists as Ottawa continued to slide Thursday with a 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay. The Senators have scored 16 goals but allowed 25 during an 0-3-2 stretch.
"What is there to say now, I don’t know, it’s pretty empty,” said Robin Lehner, who has a 5.56 goals-against average during an 0-4-2 skid.
"It’s tough to be in (the locker room) right now."
Lehner has started the past four games while Craig Anderson remains day to day with an upper-body injury.
The Lightning scored twice on the power play against the Senators, who have allowed opponents to go 12 of 47 (25.5 percent) during a 2-7-2 stretch.
Karlsson, who had a goal with an assist versus Dallas in November, has at least one point in five straight games while totaling six assists.
Spezza also had one of each against the Stars, and has nine assists in his last six games overall.