The Dallas Stars are pleased to be home after a frustrating trip. They’re probably just as happy to see who they will be hosting Friday night.
The Carolina Hurricanes are winless in their last nine visits to Dallas, where the Stars have not lost in regulation in their last nine games.
Dallas (16-9-2) had won six straight before going on the road this week. The Stars blew a third-period lead in a 3-2 shootout loss at Columbus on Monday, and saw their comeback fall short Wednesday in a 5-3 loss at Chicago.
Bouncing back may not be difficult since Dallas has eight wins and one tie in its last nine at home against Carolina (11-12-3), including a victory when the Hurricanes’ franchise was based in Hartford. The Stars also won 4-1 at Carolina on Nov. 29 as James Neal(notes) scored twice and Jamie Benn(notes) had a goal and an assist.
Neal enters with a five-game point streak after getting a goal and an assist in the loss to the Blackhawks. The Stars reduced a three-goal deficit to one heading into the third period before being hampered by Stephane Robidas’(notes) hooking penalty that led to Chicago’s clinching empty-net goal with the man advantage.
“We’ve got to stay out of the box,” Neal said. “We did a great job of battling back, but it’s a tough one. We get a call late like that, and we’re making a push to pull the goalie and get an extra man out there.”
“Playing with Ott and Burish, we’ve got some click going,” Segal said.
Dallas is 8-0-1 at home since a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles on Oct. 28 and 8-2-0 overall against Eastern Conference foes.
The Stars will likely try to focus on slowing down Eric Staal(notes), who leads the Hurricanes with 12 goals and 16 assists and had the lone tally in last month’s loss to Dallas. Carolina continues to use different combinations of wingers with the center.
“You’ve got a big, strong man like Eric Staal that’s going to see different kinds of defense - either two big guys or somebody that can really move the puck,” coach Paul Maurice told the Hurricanes’ official website. “I don’t know if we’ve got another guy that can run 82 games with him. He battles differently and can handle more than most other guys can.”
Carolina has not played since a 5-2 loss at Nashville on Saturday. That was the start of five straight road games for the Hurricanes, 0 for 13 on the power play in their last four overall. They’ve dropped six of seven on the road.