The Anaheim Ducks have come away with losses in each of their last five visits to Dallas. They have reason to believe this one might be different.
Anaheim (27-17-6) looks to earn at least a point in its 10th straight contest on Sunday when it visits the Stars at the American Airlines Center.
The Ducks are 0-4-1 in their last five games in Dallas since Feb. 10, and have scored a total of four goals in that span.
But since ringing in the new year, Anaheim has played its best hockey this season. The Ducks have won six straight and are 8-0-1 in their past nine games, which has moved them atop the Pacific, one point ahead of the Stars (27-18-5).
Anaheim can thank its top scoring line for its recent success. During the team’s points streak, Todd Bertuzzi has five goals and eight assists, Corey Perry has six goals and seven assists, and Ryan Getzlaf - who’s riding a personal 13-game run - has four goals and 12 assists.
The line combined for nine points - three apiece - in their latest win, 4-2 in Minnesota on Friday.
“I’m having a blast,” said the 32-year-old Bertuzzi of his spot on a line with a pair of 22-year-olds. “They keep you young. Not only on the ice, but in the room.”
Perry set up Bertuzzi for a pair of scores against the Wild, Bertuzzi’s first multigoal game since a hat trick on Jan. 14, 2006 while with Vancouver.
“Any time you have three big-bodied, skilled people that have been able to provide some form of offense, historically, it’s an easy match trying to find the right mix,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
Getzlaf had a goal and assist in the Ducks’ 4-2 home win against Dallas on Tuesday, their only victory in four tries against the Stars this season.
Aside from Anaheim’s improved offense, which has scored 30 goals during its streak, Jean-Sebastien Giguere also has been outstanding, going 9-1-2 with a 1.56 goals-against average and two shutouts since Dec. 16.
Giguere, though, is 2-5-0 with a 2.93 GAA in his last seven starts against Dallas.
The Stars returned home after 2-2-1 road trip, and beat Columbus 3-1 on Saturday despite notching 14 shots on goal.
Backup Mike Smith, who had lost his last three starts, made 29 saves and kept Dallas in the game when it was outshot 14-2 in the second period.
“It’s been a long time since I got in the win column, so I was just battling and trying to make saves,” Smith said. “Fortunately, we got a couple of goals.”
However, Marty Turco is expected to start in this contest. He’s 15-7-2 with three ties and a 2.14 GAA in his career against the Ducks.
Dallas has needed to rely on its defense recently. The Stars have scored 24 goals in their last 11 games, tallying four goals just once in that stretch.
Mike Ribeiro, who leads the Stars with 22 goals, has just one in that span, during which Dallas has gone 4-6-1. He was signed to a five-year, $25 million contract extension on Jan. 7.