Ducks-Stars Preview

The Associated Press

The Anaheim Ducks are still well out of playoff contention, but their recent surge has given them hope that they can make a charge after the All-Star break.

The visiting Ducks look to go into the break on a six-game winning streak when they try to hand the Dallas Stars a sixth straight loss Tuesday night.

Anaheim (18-22-7) sits in 13th place in the Western Conference and is 11 points behind eighth-place Colorado, but the Ducks' 8-0-1 surge has them thinking about the postseason.

"It's important to finish strong before the break and come out of the gate the way you want to," center Ryan Getzlaf said. "It's a big emphasis on Tuesday's game."

Getzlaf has struggled throughout the season but had a goal and an assist in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Avalanche. He's got seven points in his last five games.

Jonas Hiller won for the second straight night with 43 saves as the Ducks were outshot 45-18.

"I think everybody knows that we can play better and we have to play better if we want to win on Tuesday, but I think we take those points," Hiller said.

Coach Bruce Boudreau also wasn't apologizing for the victory. The Ducks went 3-9-2 in Boudreau's first 14 games with the club.

"We've played games where you deserve to win and you come out and you say 'Criminy, (heck) we should have won and we lost,'" Boudreau said. "... I'm not going to give the two points back."

Hiller has posted a 1.40 goals-against average during the win streak. If he gets the start Tuesday, he'll be trying to end an 0-3-0 skid with a 3.37 GAA against Dallas (24-21-2).

"In this run, he's been spectacular," Boudreau said.

The Ducks last won six straight Nov. 3-12, 2010. The Stars are 0-4-1 as they try to avoid their first six-game slide since going 0-3-3 from March 19-April 2.

Dallas is coming off Saturday's 5-2 loss at Minnesota in which the Wild scored three goals in a 59-second span in the second period.

"We're giving up a lot of goals and we don't score enough now to be giving up five goals, so we've got to tighten up," left wing Eric Nystrom told the Stars' official website. "It's hard work, that's all it is."

Coach Glen Gulutzan was quick to absolve goaltender Kari Lehtonen of any blame Saturday. Lehtonen was starting for the second straight night and was replaced by Richard Bachman in the third period.

Lehtonen has split two outings against Anaheim this season, posting a 2.51 GAA.

The Stars' last four games have come without left wing Jamie Benn, second on the team with 42 points. Benn remains out due to an appendectomy.

"We've just got to figure out how to be more consistent, night in and night out, every shift, and it's not easy," Nystrom said.

The Stars have won two of three over the Ducks this season. Loui Eriksson leads Dallas with five points in the series while Teemu Selanne has a team-high four for Anaheim.

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