Some rest was much needed for the weary Stars, who are back game road trip that took the Dallas-based club to both coasts.
Though not nearly racking up as much mileage, the Anaheim Ducks probably can't wait to end their current trek.
The Stars play the first of three in a row at home tonight looking to extend the Ducks' winless streak on the road to 12 straight games.
Dallas began its swing on the West Coast, losing a game in San Jose before picking up a victory over the Kings on Dec. 10. The Stars then headed east and bested the Rangers and Islanders, but seemed to run out of steam in Friday's 6-3 setback at the Devils.
Brenden Morrow, Toby Petersen and Michael Ryder all had goals for the Stars, who return home with a 9-8-0 road record on the year and tied for first in the Pacific Division with the Sharks. Dallas is 9-4-1 at home.
Richard Bachman started his fourth straight game and had allowed just three goals over the previous three -- the first of his NHL career -- before getting tagged for six goals on 31 shots versus New Jersey.
Dallas played on back-to-back nights for the sixth time this year and has lost all six contests in the back end of those sets.
"We think there was some learning lessons from tonight," said Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan. "But it's learning from games like this that you grow as a team."
Tomas Vincour missed Friday's game with a knee injury, while Philip Larsen left the contest early with a lower-body issue.
The Ducks, who are last in the division with 23 points, are looking for their first road win since Oct. 27. They are 0-8-3 in 11 games as the guest since and play the third of a five-game swing this evening.
Anaheim kicked off the road trip with a 4-1 defeat in Chicago and was then dealt a 5-3 loss on Saturday in Teemu Selanne's return to Winnipeg. Selanne began his career with the original Jets before getting dealt to the Ducks. He logged two assists and leads Anaheim with 23 helpers and 33 points while recording two goals and 11 points over an eight-game point streak.
Niklas Hagman and Corey Perry scored first-period goals to erase a 2-0 deficit, but the Jets struck twice in the second and once more early in the third before Perry stopped the bleeding with a power-play goal at the 10:26 mark of the frame.
Dan Ellis turned aside 26-of-31 shots in the loss, the Ducks' sixth in eight games overall.
"We're not very happy with how we started the game," said Selanne. "You're supposed to enjoy the moment, but then we got back in the game. Bad second- period start again and we just do too many mistakes every night."
The Stars are 3-0-2 in their last five meetings with the Ducks, including a 3-1 victory at Anaheim on Oct. 21 to kick off the season series. Dallas is 4-1-1 in its last six at home versus the Ducks.