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Dallas Vs. Vancouver: Stars Look To Snap Losing Streak

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to get back on track when they host the sliding Dallas Stars tonight in a Western Conference battle at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks are leading the entire NHL with 83 points this season, but the club has alternated losses and wins over its last five contests. Vancouver had won six straight games prior to its current 2-3-0 stretch.

Dallas, meanwhile, has lost three straight games and is just 1-6-1 this month. The Stars were leading the Pacific Division for most of the season, but they are now tied with Los Angeles and Anaheim for last place. The good news is Dallas is still just three points behind Phoenix for the division's top spot.

The Canucks have dominated Dallas this season, winning all three meetings and outscoring the Stars by a combined 15-3 margin. Overall, Vancouver has taken five in a row and eight of nine in the series and the Stars have dropped four straight and seven of nine in British Columbia.

Vancouver No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo has started just one game against the Stars this season and stopped 25-of-26 shots in that 7-1 victory at Rogers Arena on Jan. 24.

Luongo took the loss in Vancouver's 3-1 setback in Nashville on Thursday. Martin Erat recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Predators to the win at Bridgestone Arena.

Daniel Sedin notched the only goal for the Canucks, while Luongo made 23 saves in defeat.

"I liked the quality of our chances tonight," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "I don't think we gave them that many chances. Unfortunately, we lost the game."

This evening's tilt marks the start of a six-game homestand for the Canucks, who are 20-4-5 as the host this year and have won five of their last six at Rogers Arena.

Dallas, however, will try to halt a six-game road losing streak when it plays the finale of a three-game swing tonight. The Stars have fallen to 14-13-1 as the guest this year.

The Stars lost a 4-1 decision in Edmonton on Tuesday and were dealt a 4-2 setback the following night in Calgary. Cory Sarich and Steve Staios both scored third-period goals to lift the Flames and Staios' tally came while Calgary was shorthanded.

Jamie Langenbrunner and Mike Ribeiro potted goals for the Stars, while Kari Lehtonen gave up four goals on 31 shots in the losing effort.

With the game knotted at two apiece heading into the final frame, Calgary lit the lamp just 2 1/2 minutes in on Sarich's rising slap shot, which banged off the crossbar and in. Staios scored just 2:12 later to account for the final score.

"The shorthanded goal, we can't make that play, the game is in the balance and we have to be smart," Stars head coach Marc Crawford said.

Dallas has played its last two games without leading scorer Brad Richards, who has not joined his team on this road trip due to a concussion. Richards leads the Stars with 63 points and is tied for the team lead with 24 goals.

Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman is also expected to miss a third straight game tonight with a hip injury.

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