Stars-Senators Preview

The Associated Press

The Dallas Stars have struggled on the road lately, but their next opponent has fared even worse in recent home games.

The Ottawa Senators will try to snap a four-game skid on their own ice and avoid a season-high fifth consecutive overall defeat Sunday against the Stars.

Dallas (5-6-2) is 1-5-0 in its last six on the road after a 2-1 loss to Montreal on Tuesday. The Stars then returned home and nearly rallied to hand Colorado its second loss in 12 games Friday before falling 3-2 in overtime.

Tyler Seguin had the tying goal and an assist during Dallas' comeback from a 2-0 deficit after two periods. The Stars scored three third-period goals in their first 12 games.

"We had a bad start tonight and that cost us. I thought we did a pretty good job of battling back," said forward Jamie Benn. "We have to have a lot better starts. We've got a big road trip coming up here."

Dallas will begin that three-game trek against an Ottawa team that's 0-3-1 in its last four home games. The Senators (4-6-3) are also 0-3-1 in their last four overall contests, having failed to protect a pair of two-goal leads in a 5-4 shootout loss to the visiting New York Islanders on Friday.

Ottawa missed all three attempts in the tiebreaker, but coach Paul MacLean took some positives away from his team's fifth loss in six games.

"When things aren't going your way and going real bad, sometimes you feel like you're getting pummeled and pummeled and pummeled," he said. "I thought tonight we had some guys dig in.

"At the end of the day, we found a way to get something out of the game, and the guys started digging in. Anytime you're in a tug of war, you can't start pulling back until you dig in and stop the other side from pulling."

The Senators haven't dropped five straight at home since an 0-7-3 skid Dec. 29, 2010-Feb. 18, 2011. Ottawa lost a season-high five in a row overall March 30-April 9.

The Senators will to try to end those skids by snapping a three-game losing streak to the Stars. Dallas has gone 6-1-2 in the past nine matchups, the most recent one coming Dec. 1, 2011 at the American Airlines Center.

The last four games between the teams have been decided by one goal.

Dallas might have a little more depth in this matchup with center Ryan Garbutt having wrapped up a five-game suspension for a charging penalty against Anaheim on Oct. 20.

Sunday's game will mark the return of veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who played three seasons in Ottawa before getting traded to Dallas in the offseason. Gonchar had 15 goals and 76 assists with the Senators.