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Red Wings hit the road to battle Stars

The Detroit Red Wings have done most of their damage on home ice this year, but they'll try to take their winning ways on the road tonight when they visit the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

The Red Wings, who are beginning a four-game swing tonight, have an amazing 15-2-1 mark as the host this year compared to a sub-par 9-11-0 mark as the visitors.

Detroit recorded its 12th consecutive win at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, as the Red Wings blanked the visiting St. Louis Blues by a 3-0 score.

Jimmy Howard made 31 saves to record his career-high fourth shutout of the season and help the Red Wings post Saturday's victory. Johan Franzen, Justin Abdelkader and Jiri Hudler each contributed a goal in the second period for Detroit, which trails Chicago by three points for first place in the Central Division.

"We're playing with confidence at home. We've got to find a way to take it on the road with us," Howard said.

Detroit, which will also visit Toronto, Chicago and the New York Islanders during this swing, has dropped three of its last four road tilts.

In injury news, Red Wings forward Darren Helm has missed the last two games with a groin injury and he is questionable for tonight.

The Stars ended a two-game slide in their last contest, posting a 4-2 home win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Trevor Daley was the offensive star for Dallas, as he burned the defending Stanley Cup champions for a goal and two assists.

Tom Wandell had a goal and an assist while Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder each scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen made 18 saves for the win in his game since returning from a groin injury.

"We knew it was going to be a hard game tonight because they're one of the best in the league," said Ryder, who was a member of Boston's championship team last year. "We got off to a good start and we're able to hold them off in the last 20 minutes. Hopefully this is a step forward for us."

Dallas are currently third in the Pacific Division standings, but the club is just two points in back of first-place Los Angeles. The Stars also trail Detroit by six points in the Western Conference standings.

The Stars are 12-6-1 as the host this year and are ending a three-game homestand tonight.

Dallas defenseman Philip Larsen suffered a head injury in Saturday's win and is doubtful for tonight.

Detroit slammed the visiting Stars by a 5-2 score when the clubs met for the first time this season on Nov. 12. Franzen and Brad Stuart each had a goal and an assist in that win and Howard made 25 saves.

The Red Wings have taken two of the last three matchups against Dallas, but the Stars have won five of seven overall. Detroit ended a six-game road losing streak in this series when it notched a 7-3 win on Dec. 29 of last season.