The Dallas Stars can talk about what they need to do to end their road struggles, but eventually they need to just get it done.
The Stars look to avoid their 10th consecutive road loss when they open a three-game trip Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks.
Dallas (21-17-11) is looking for its third straight victory after Monday’s 4-3 win over Minnesota, but that could be a challenge considering the Stars haven’t won on the road since beating San Jose 3-2 in a shootout Dec. 11.
Mired in the franchise’s longest single-season road skid, the Stars have been outscored 40-19 while going 0-7-2. They remain in the hunt for a Western Conference playoff spot thanks in large part to a 14-5-5 home record.
“We’ve talked about 100 times and we can keep talking about it,” said center Brad Richards(notes), who had three assists against the Wild. “We know what we have to do. We’ve got to put it out on the ice. We feel confident at home. Now we have to bring that confidence and attitude on the road. Points are tough to come by on the road. It’s going to be a battle.”
That will likely be the case against Vancouver (29-18-2), which is 19-7-1 at GM Place, and also is trying for its third straight victory after winning 3-2 in overtime at Edmonton on Wednesday. The Stars are tied for 10th place, but are only seven points behind the sixth-place Canucks.
Dallas is 1-1-1 versus the Canucks this season, including a 4-3 shootout loss on Oct. 11 in Vancouver. Richards had a goal and assist in that contest, and has seven of each in 12 career games against the Canucks.
Auld is 7-4-3 with a 2.94 goals-against average, and 2-0-0 with a 2.37 GAA in his last three appearances.
“My goal from the start is when I’m playing to give the team as good a chance as possible to win,” he said. “You want to make it difficult when (the coaches) have to make decisions (on the starting goalie), but at the same time it’s a team game and you want to put everything else aside.”
Auld, who spent his first four NHL seasons with Vancouver, would face his former team for the first time.
Against the Oilers, Daniel Sedin(notes) scored his 13th goal for the game-winner, and twin brother Henrik added three assists. The Canucks went 3 for 4 on the power play, and rallied for their ninth win in 13 games.
“Obviously our power play was real good and was able to win us the game,” said coach Alain Vigneault, whose team is 6 for 18 with the man advantage in the last four contests.
Henrik Sedin(notes) has had a goal with five assists in his last two games, and five assists against Dallas this season. Alex Burrows(notes), meanwhile, has scored in four straight games, and has 12 goals with two assists during a nine-game point streak.
He scored in the Canucks’ 3-1 road win over the Stars on Jan. 2.
Roberto Luongo(notes) stopped 31 shots against Edmonton to improve to 25-14-2 with a 2.29 GAA. He’ll likely make his 21st straight start while trying for a sixth straight victory over the Stars. Luongo is 10-4-2 with a 2.00 GAA against Dallas.