Stars, Ducks clash in Anaheim

The Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks are both off to quick game winning streak on the line at the Honda Center.

The Stars have opened a season 5-1 for the second straight year and for the third time in six seasons. It also marks the fourth time since the franchise moved to Dallas that it has won five of six to start the season.

That start has given the Stars an early edge in the division, though the Ducks aren't too far behind thanks to their 4-1 beginning to the campaign. It is the first time that Anaheim has won four of its first five games and the eight points matches the 2006-07 club (3-0-2) for the best start in team history.

The Stars, who haven't won five straight since Jan. 9-20, will play the second of four in a row on the road, with the final three games of the swing all against Pacific Division residents.

"It's still early in the season, but you're going to face these guys quiet a bit in the future so you want to send a message early and compare yourself against them," said Dallas' Brenden Morrow. "These points usually add up to big ones come March and April so we want to be focused and take it 60 minutes at a time."

The Stars began their trek with a 3-2 win at Columbus on Tuesday to sweep a home-and-home set with the Blue Jackets. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist, while Steve Ott and Michael Ryder netted the other goals. Ott has a pair of tallies and three assists over his last five games.

Kari Lehtonen made 38 saves to extend his excellent start to the season.

"I'm just trying to be patient," said Lehtonen, who is 5-0 with a 1.58 goals- against average on the season. "I think that's the biggest thing. It went good, and you have to be happy about it. When things are going well, of course it feels fun, and it's nice to play."

Lehtonen has never won six in a row in his career.

The Ducks haven't lost since Oct. 7 in Finland against Buffalo and are coming off a division victory of their own, a 3-2 triumph in San Jose on Monday. Teemu Selanne scored twice, giving him 639 goals in his career and one behind Dave Andreychuk for 13th all-time, and Corey Perry netted his second straight game-winner.

Saku Koivu assisted on both goals and Dan Ellis made 41 saves in his first appearance of the season.

"The games are intense and there is no easy game in the NHL," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. "Tonight we were able to squeak by."

A victory tonight would give the Ducks five wins in a row for the first time since a six-game run from Nov. 3-12 of last season. Defense has been key as the Ducks have matched a club record by allowing just nine goals over the first five games. They also did so in 1998-99.

Jonas Hiller will likely get the start in net tonight and he is 3-1-0 with a 1.71 GAA on the season.

The Ducks won four of six over the Stars last year and have taken five of the last seven at home in this series.