The Stars entered the All-Star break with a 1-0 win over the Ducks and Dallas will try to duplicate that result, ideally with more goals, when it visits Anaheim for tonight's Pacific Division battle at the Honda Center.
Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season to help the Stars edge the Ducks in Dallas on Jan. 24. It was a much-needed victory for the Stars, who had lost five straight prior to last week's low-scoring win and enter tonight tied with Calgary and Phoenix for the 10th seed in the Western Conference.
Alex Goligoski scored the only goal of the game for the Stars, who avoided what would have been a season-worst losing streak. Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan was relieved to get the win, but still knows has a lot of work to do this month if it wants to get back in the playoff picture.
"We've made no excuses so far and we'll have none coming back," Gulutzan said after the 1-0 win. "We'll be healed and ready to go. February will be our telling month."
The Stars will have captain Brenden Morrow back to begin their post-All-Star schedule, as the forward is expected to return from a neck injury that kept him out of last week's game against the Ducks. Morrow has totaled eight goals and 14 assists in 41 games this season.
Dallas is playing two straight on the road and will also visit San Jose tomorrow night. The Stars are 11-12-0 as the visiting team this season.
The Ducks, meanwhile, enter tonight having won six of their last seven and they're coming off Tuesday's 4-1 road triumph in Phoenix. That victory gave Anaheim a 9-2-1 record in January and the Ducks enter tonight as the 13th seed in the West, seven points behind the Stars, Flames and Coyotes.
Andrew Cogliano was the offensive star for Anaheim in its first game following the break, as he netted a natural hat trick in the second period against the Coyotes to notch the first three-goal game of his career. The hat trick gives Cogliano 11 goals in 49 games this year, matching his total from last season when he scored 11 times in 82 games with Edmonton.
"The big thing is that I played big role in winning the game for the team," Cogliano said.
This evening's tilt kicks off a four-game homestand for the Ducks, who are 13-12-1 in Orange County this year compared to a 6-11-6 record on the road. Anaheim will also host Columbus, Calgary and Carolina during its residency.
The Stars have won four of the last five meetings against Anaheim overall, but the Ducks have claimed five out of seven on home ice.