|VAN||0||0||0||0||0 (1 - 6)||2|
|DAL||0||0||0||0||1 (2 - 6)||3|
The Dallas Stars are clinging to the Pacific Division lead. Continuing their regular-season dominance at home over the Vancouver Canucks will extend that edge.
Dallas (31-20-5) will go for its seventh straight win over road-weary Vancouver (26-21-6) at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday night.
With 67 points, Dallas has a two-point lead over second-place San Jose, which begins a five-game homestand on Wednesday against Colorado. The Stars haven't lost in the regular season at home to the Canucks since March 17, 2003, holding them to a total of six goals.
"We have to bring a high-intensity level to the game on Tuesday," coach Dave Tippett told the Stars' official Web site. "We've always been a very good home team (15-9-2) and we want to continue that."
In last season's Western Conference quarterfinals, though, Vancouver took two of three in Dallas en route to winning the series in seven games. This season, the teams have split a pair of one-goal games with Dallas winning 4-3 in the most recent meeting on Jan. 29.
That began the Stars' first three-game road sweep of Western Canadian teams since December 2001, a run that concluded with a 2-1 win over Calgary on Saturday.
"This was a great trip, plain and simple," Stars forward Steve Ott said. "We needed it and it feels good to come out with three wins in three games."
Marty Turco was in goal for all three wins, stopping 92 of 97 shots for a 1.67 goals-against average and was named the NHL's second star of the week on Monday. In nine career regular-season home starts against the Canucks, Turco is 8-1-0 with a 1.11 GAA and two shutouts, and he hasn't lost to them in seven starts since Oct. 11, 2001.
As the Stars look to avoid a season high-tying three-game home losing streak, they likely will be facing the Canucks' Roberto Luongo, who will be looking to break out of a funk that's gone on for nearly a month.
Luongo blanked the New York Rangers on Jan. 3, but hasn't won in regulation after that, going 3-5-2 with a 2.81 GAA. The three wins all came in shootouts, and he's allowed at least three goals seven times in that span.
Still, Turco expects the anticipated matchup to be tough.
"We do hope to bring out the best in each other, that just makes for a better game," he said. "But more than anything you want to come away victorious, just to keep a little small feather in the cap. We'll have plenty of games against each other, and none is more important than the next."
Vancouver, which has lost the first two games of a four-game swing, is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Florida on Friday. Luongo, who made his first start in South Florida since being dealt to the Canucks in June 2006, finished with 40 saves, but Vancouver fell to the Panthers for the first time in more than eight years.
"It's an unacceptable loss," Luongo said after the Canucks dropped their third straight, all by 4-3 scores. "They're all tough. We had chances to win and we couldn't get another goal."
Luongo is 0-1-1 with a 3.08 GAA in three career regular-season starts in Dallas.
Daniel Sedin has a goal and seven assists in a season-high six-game point streak coming in. He leads the Canucks with 23 goals, and his 53 points are second behind twin brother Henrik, who has team highs of 43 assists and 54 points.
|Mar 15 '08||VAN 4 at DAL 3||B. Morrison|
|Feb 05 '08||VAN 2 at DAL 3 - SO||B. Morrow|
|Jan 29 '08||DAL 4 at VAN 3||S. Ott|
|Dec 20 '07||DAL 2 at VAN 3||D. Sedin|