Stars-Flames Preview

The new year could not be starting much better for the Dallas

Stars.

Yet to suffer a regulation loss in 2011, the surging Stars look

to continue their recent success by extending their team-record

road winning streak to nine games Friday night against the Calgary

Flames.

Dallas (29-13-5) lost four of five to end 2010, but improved to

7-0-1 in the new year with a 4-2 victory at Edmonton on

Thursday.

“We’re keeping it simple and playing a good team game,” forward

Jamie Benn told the Stars’ official website. “That’s what you have

to do on the road, and it’s paying off. I don’t think we played our

best game, but we got a big two points. We did enough to win.”

Benn and Adam Burish each had a goal with an assist as Dallas

posted its sixth straight four-goal game on the road. The Pacific

Division-leading Stars’ last loss away from home was a 5-2 defeat

at Phoenix on Dec. 11.

Though Dallas lost 3-2 in a shootout at home to the Flames

(20-21-6) on Dec. 23, it has won two in a row and five of six at

Calgary. The Stars outscored the Flames 8-3 the last two meetings

at the Saddledome.

Benn had an assist against the Flames last month and a goal in a

3-1 victory in the Stars’ last visit to Calgary on Feb. 11. The

second-year winger has four goals and four assists his last five

contests overall.

Mike Ribeiro extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal

at Edmonton. He has four goals and eight assists during that span,

and three goals and two assists in his last two games at

Calgary.

Though Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves for his fourth straight

victory Thursday, backup Andrew Raycroft could be in net for this

contest.

Raycroft has a 1.69 goals-against average while winning his last

four starts – all on the road. However, he is 1-3-0 with a 3.75 GAA

against the Flames.

Despite the Stars’ success this month and at Calgary, they’ll

try not to look past the Flames toward a Monday matchup against the

Western Conference-leading Vancouver Canucks.

“Calgary is playing much better of late,” Stars coach Marc

Crawford said. “So that will be a spirited affair.”

Flames winger Alex Tanguay had a late goal to force overtime and

was the only player to score in the shootout during last month’s

victory at Dallas.

“Our team is better than people think it is,” Tanguay told the

Flames’ official website this week. “It’s just up to us to come in

and prove it.”

Though Tanguay has one goal in his last 11 games, he has five

with five assists in his last eight against the Stars.

After averaging 3.6 goals during a 2-0-3 stretch, the Flames

were stymied on 37 shots in a 6-0 loss to Minnesota on

Wednesday.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped just 18 of 24 shots two days after

being pulled for the second time in three games. He’s allowed 22

goals while going 1-2-1 during his last six starts following a

four-game winning streak.

Kiprusoff, however, has a 1.75 GAA while going 3-1-1 in his last

five against the Stars.

Calgary forward Tom Kostopoulos will the serve the last of his

six-game suspension for his high hit that broke the jaw of Detroit

defenseman Brad Stuart on Jan. 7.