Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Monday, November 23rd
Game 2: Wednesday, December 16th

Stars 3

(14-9-10, 38 pts)

Hurricanes 5

(8-19-6, 22 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 16, 2009

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
DAL 1 1 13
CAR 3 0 25

T. Ruutu (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

J. Jokinen (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Pitkanen (Hurricanes - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Stars-Hurricanes Preview


The Dallas Stars have consistently earned points in their recent games, but victories have been harder to come by.

The Stars have a good opportunity for a win Wednesday night as they travel to face the woeful Carolina Hurricanes.

Dallas (14-8-10) has struggled for victories for much of this season, failing to win more than two in a row. The Stars, however, have played the most games past regulation this season, and their 10 overtime losses have kept them within striking distance of the Pacific Division leaders.

Dallas' last four games have all gone beyond regulation, including the first three of its season-long five-game road trip. The Stars opened their trek Dec. 8 with an overtime loss to Anaheim, then beat San Jose in a shootout before falling in another shootout Saturday night, 3-2 to Los Angeles.

Mike Ribeiro had a goal waived off that would have kept the Stars alive in the tiebreaker. Kings goaltender Jon Quick successfully claimed the center interrupted his forward progress.

Stars coach Marc Crawford disagreed with the referees' decision, which was upheld on video review.

"It was forward progress. Once the goalie touches it, it's deemed forward progress," he said. "Tough luck for us."

A matchup with the league's worst team could change Dallas' fortunes. Facing the NHL's worst defense should help its flagging offense, which is averaging 2.17 goals in its last six games.

After making the Eastern Conference finals in 2008-09, the Hurricanes have been in disarray at both ends of the ice.

Carolina (7-19-6) is allowing a league-high 3.56 goals per game, and has given up four in each of its three straight losses despite the return of starting goaltender Cam Ward from a leg laceration. The Hurricanes are also averaging a league-low 2.31 goals and are among the worst teams on the power play (14.3 percent).

Ray Whitney provided the only offense in Saturday night's 4-2 loss at Ottawa to conclude a four-game trip, twice tying the game in the second period. His efforts went for naught, as the Hurricanes allowed the Senators' Alex Kovalev to complete a hat trick with two goals in the final 3:04.

"We need to win some games, so to be that close to it is frustrating," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "We've been playing good for about three weeks to a month now and we've had a lot of these nights. A little understaffed, a little undermanned and we're running some kids a little hard. They're playing, but you've got to get that puck across the line."

Dallas didn't need much to top Carolina earlier this season as Marty Turco stopped 22 shots in a 2-0 home victory on Nov. 23. That loss started the Hurricanes on a five-game skid and their current 2-7-1 stretch.

Turco is expected to start again Wednesday after sitting out the defeat to Los Angeles. He's won three of his last four matchups with Carolina while posting a 1.72 goals-against average, and has helped the Stars forge a 5-1-0 mark against the Hurricanes since Feb. 11, 2003.

The teams will play in Raleigh for the first time since Nov. 18, 2006, a night that ended in a 5-4 victory for Carolina.