Stars-Ducks Preview

The Anaheim Ducks may not be thrilled with their latest

performances, but they’re on the brink of matching the longest

winning streak in franchise history.

Before embarking on an eight-game road trip, the Ducks go for

their seventh straight victory Sunday night against the Dallas

Stars.

Anaheim (6-1-0) is off to its best-ever start after reeling off

six wins in a row following a season-opening 6-1 defeat at Colorado

on Oct. 2.

The only time the Ducks put together a seven-game winning streak

was Feb. 20-March 7, 1999.

“We’ve just got to continue on this path and find ways to win,”

captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “We want to get better as a team.”

That mantra has surfaced after the Ducks followed Wednesday’s

3-2 win over Calgary with a victory by the same score over Phoenix

on Friday, but needing six rounds of a shootout. They forced

overtime when Nick Bonino floated a weak shot past a screened Mike

Smith with 2:02 to play in regulation.

“Our last couple of games haven’t been that great,” Getzlaf

said. “It’s just a matter of getting better and finding ways to win

games. You’ve got to win in all different ways in this league. You

never can continue along the same scoring trend we had. You’ve got

to win the tight ones, too.”

Having Jonas Hiller in net surely helps, and he’s likely to be

there again with Viktor Fasth expected to be out again with a

lower-body injury.

Hiller, who made 30 saves and turned aside three shootout

attempts, has won all four of his starts with a 1.44 goals-against

average and one shutout.

He had 33 stops with two more in the tiebreaker in 2-1 win at

Dallas (3-4-0) in his most recent meeting with the Stars on March

14. That also ended his seven-game losing streak to the former

Pacific Division rival, during which he compiled a 3.19 GAA – 4.54

in two home matchups.

The Ducks took three of the final four meetings with the Stars

last season and another victory would conclude a perfect five-game

homestand before Anaheim opens its longest road trip of the season

Tuesday at Toronto.

The Stars will try to end the Ducks’ run after sending San Jose

to its first loss of the season Thursday, 4-3 in a shootout.

Dallas, though, followed that up by falling 5-2 at Los Angeles

on Saturday, giving up three third-period goals to lose for the

third straight time on the road.

“We just need to become a team that can hold it together a

little bit longer, and we have to eliminate some of the big

turnovers,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “Some of them were inexcusable.

Those decisions are the ones that have hurt us, especially on the

road, and that gives the other team some momentum.”

Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist Saturday, extending his

point streak to six games. The center has four goals and six

assists since going pointless in the season opener.

Jamie Benn’s eight points are second on the team to Seguin’s 10,

and he’s coming off a two-assist performance Saturday. However, the

left wing mustered just one point against the Ducks last

season.