National Hockey League
Stars-Ducks Preview
National Hockey League

Stars-Ducks Preview

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 1:30 a.m. ET

A year after missing the playoffs for the sixth time in seven tries, the Dallas Stars may wind up with the most points in the Western Conference for the first time in 13 years.

Their pursuit of the top seed also helped the Anaheim Ducks' chances of regaining the Pacific Division lead.

The Stars might have a chance to clinch home-ice advantage through the West playoffs Sunday night against the Ducks.

Dallas (47-22-9) finished seven points shy of a playoff spot last season but don't have any such worries now, having already secured a berth while leading St. Louis by four points for the conference lead.


The Stars can clinch the top seed with a win combined with the Blues losing in regulation to Colorado on Sunday.

Dallas has won four straight and seven of its last eight after Patrick Eaves and Jordie Benn scored in the third period to rally for a 3-2 win at Los Angeles on Saturday.

"It's huge to come back in their building in the third and get the two points that we needed to stay up on St. Louis," said Eaves, who has a goal in each of the last two games. "That was huge for us."

The comeback also helped out the Ducks (43-24-10), who trail the Kings by one point in the Pacific race with five games left - having one in hand.

Anaheim, though, failed to help itself Friday, losing 3-2 to Vancouver after going 5-1-1 in its previous seven games.

"I don't think we've played exceptionally well in the last little bit," center Andrew Cogliano said. "We need to get our game in order in terms of playing against some of the best teams now, and Dallas is top of the conference for a reason.

"This will be a good measuring stick to see where we are as a team and how far we've come. It'll show us what level we need to be at going into the playoffs."

Corey Perry is looking to bounce back from his pointless effort from Friday after he had one in each of the previous five. The right wing has 22 points over his last 24 meetings with the Stars, including the playoffs. He had one of the Ducks' four goals in the opening period of a 4-2 home win Jan. 15.

Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and assist in that matchup. The right wing enters this one with nine goals and three assists over the past 10 games, collecting eight of those points in five at home.

Jamie Benn's 41 goals are the most by a Stars player since Mike Modano had 50 in 1993-94, while his 88 points are the most since Brad Richards' 91 in 2009-10.

Benn seems poised to at least catch Richards after scoring nine times with eight assists over the past 13 games.

He's got 28 points spanning his last 30 overall meetings with the Ducks, including seven in the past three after scoring a goal in January.

Jason Spezza assisted on that tally as part of his 19 points over the last 18 road games. The center also set up Benn's goal Saturday, giving him three assists during the past two away from Dallas.


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