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Stars Look For Ninth Straight Road Win In Calgary

(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars will try to extend the longest road winning streak in club history tonight as they visit the struggling Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Stars have won eight straight as the road team, setting a new franchise mark with last night's 4-2 win at Edmonton. Jamie Benn, Mike Ribeiro and James Neal all scored, while Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves.

"We came out hard," Benn said. "We did enough to win tonight. I don't think we played our best game but we got a big two points."

Dallas hasn't lost on the road since Dec. 11 and is now 7-0-1 in the month of January. That has helped the club up its Pacific Division-leading point total to 63, one back of Detroit for second place in the Western Conference.

Though Loui Eriksson had his career-long 10-game point streak snapped (2 goals, 10 assists), Neal scored for the sixth time in eight games and Ribeiro ran the longest point streak of his career to 10 consecutive games. Ribeiro has four goals and eight assists over that run.

The center has four goals and three helpers over his last four games versus the Flames, including a goal and an assist in a 3-2 home shootout loss to Calgary back on Dec. 23. It was the first meeting of the season between the clubs after the Stars took three of four in 2009-10.

Lehtonen made 31 saves in the loss and is 2-1-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average. Head coach Marc Crawford could rest his No. 1 goaltender tonight in favor of Andrew Raycroft, who is 1-3-0 with a 3.75 GAA versus Calgary and has made just one start this month.

Dallas has won two straight and five of its last six in Calgary.

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff needed to make just 14 saves through overtime to win that December meeting and is 7-11-3 with a 2.32 GAA versus the Stars.

The 34-year-old has struggled this season though, going 17-18-2 with a 2.84 GAA and .897 save percentage. Kiprusoff gave up six goals on 24 shots in Wednesday's 6-0 setback to Minnesota, dropping him to 1-2-1 in his last six starts while getting pulled early twice in that span.

It is unknown of Flames head coach Brent Sutter will stick with Kiprusoff tonight or give backup Henrik Karlsson his first ever start versus Dallas.

Calgary returned home on Wednesday after a 2-0-2 road trip and lost for the sixth time in its last eight games. The club was also shut out for the third time this season, but first since Oct. 14.

"It was one of those games where we never had our 'A' game here," said Sutter. "We will be better on Friday and we obviously know that, we can't play that way."

The Flames sit 14th in the West with 46 points, eight back of a playoff spot, and lost for the third straight time at home.

Forward Tom Kostopoulos will serve the sixth and final game of his suspension tonight for a hit to Detroit's Brad Stuart on Jan. 7 that broke the defenseman's jaw.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.