(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars will hope for a quick rebound on Thursday
night when they try to make up ground in the playoff race in a meeting with
the Vancouver Canucks.
The Stars had a five-game winning streak snapped with Monday's 5-2 loss to the
Chicago Blackhawks. They sit 10th overall in the Western Conference with 45
points, four back of the eighth-seeded Columbus Blue Jackets with six games to
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets were both in action on Wednesday and Detroit is
idle tonight, while Columbus will visit the Los Angeles Kings.
Dallas will also look to get a spark from the return of goaltender Kari
Lehtonen from a strained groin. The Stars' No. 1 netminder had missed the
past three games, but practiced on Wednesday and will start tonight.
"Hopefully it was good to get that time off," said Lehtonen. "We have few
games left here so I'm even more excited now to play. We're in a good spot to
try and climb into the playoffs."
Dallas got a pair of goals from Jaime Benn in Monday's loss, while Richard
Bachman made 23 saves.
"We kept it close, but we definitely know what we have to do to be the best
and beat the best," Benn said. "Hopefully we can just keep pushing here. We
still have a chance to make the playoffs and that's what we're going for."
Forward Alex Chiasson suffered a shoulder injury versus the Blackhawks and is
expected to miss a few days of action, while Trevor Daley did not practice on
Wednesday because of an upper body issue but could still play tonight.
Dallas will begin a three-game road trip on Friday in St. Louis before ending
the season with two straight at home.
The Canucks continue their quest for a fifth straight Northwest Division title
as they sit four points ahead of the Minnesota Wild with five games to play
for both clubs. The Wild are visiting the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
Vancouver is 5-1-1 in its last seven games and is coming off Tuesday's 2-1
setback to the hosting St. Louis Blues. Alex Edler had the lone goal in
regulation for the Canucks, while Derek Roy and Alex Burrows had their
shootout attempts stopped.
Cory Schneider, meanwhile, yielded two goals in the tiebreaker after coming up
with 35 stops through overtime.
"We had the second game of back-to-back and they came out at us hard," said
Canucks captain Henrik Sedin about playing after a win at Nashville on Monday.
"We fought back and had chances to win it."
Vancouver wraps a five-game road trip tonight and will play its next three at
home before concluding the regular season on April 27 in Edmonton.
The Canucks have won three of four and 12 of their previous 16 meetings with
the Stars while going 5-0-1 in their past six trips to Dallas.
The Sports Network