Stars-Ducks Preview


The Anaheim Ducks may not be thrilled with their latest performances, but they're on the brink of matching the longest winning streak in franchise history.

Before embarking on an eight-game road trip, the Ducks go for their seventh straight victory Sunday night against the Dallas Stars.

Anaheim (6-1-0) is off to its best-ever start after reeling off six wins in a row following a season-opening 6-1 defeat at Colorado on Oct. 2.

The only time the Ducks put together a seven-game winning streak was Feb. 20-March 7, 1999.

"We've just got to continue on this path and find ways to win," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We want to get better as a team."

That mantra has surfaced after the Ducks followed Wednesday's 3-2 win over Calgary with a victory by the same score over Phoenix on Friday, but needing six rounds of a shootout. They forced overtime when Nick Bonino floated a weak shot past a screened Mike Smith with 2:02 to play in regulation.

"Our last couple of games haven't been that great," Getzlaf said. "It's just a matter of getting better and finding ways to win games. You've got to win in all different ways in this league. You never can continue along the same scoring trend we had. You've got to win the tight ones, too."

Having Jonas Hiller in net surely helps, and he's likely to be there again with Viktor Fasth expected to be out again with a lower-body injury.

Hiller, who made 30 saves and turned aside three shootout attempts, has won all four of his starts with a 1.44 goals-against average and one shutout.

He had 33 stops with two more in the tiebreaker in 2-1 win at Dallas (3-4-0) in his most recent meeting with the Stars on March 14. That also ended his seven-game losing streak to the former Pacific Division rival, during which he compiled a 3.19 GAA - 4.54 in two home matchups.

The Ducks took three of the final four meetings with the Stars last season and another victory would conclude a perfect five-game homestand before Anaheim opens its longest road trip of the season Tuesday at Toronto.

The Stars will try to end the Ducks' run after sending San Jose to its first loss of the season Thursday, 4-3 in a shootout.

Dallas, though, followed that up by falling 5-2 at Los Angeles on Saturday, giving up three third-period goals to lose for the third straight time on the road.

"We just need to become a team that can hold it together a little bit longer, and we have to eliminate some of the big turnovers," coach Lindy Ruff said. "Some of them were inexcusable. Those decisions are the ones that have hurt us, especially on the road, and that gives the other team some momentum."

Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist Saturday, extending his point streak to six games. The center has four goals and six assists since going pointless in the season opener.

Jamie Benn's eight points are second on the team to Seguin's 10, and he's coming off a two-assist performance Saturday. However, the left wing mustered just one point against the Ducks last season.