Stars try to shake off tough loss in clash with Caps

( - The Dallas Stars aim to rebound from some tough luck and extend a five-game winning streak over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night as the two clubs clash at American Airlines Center.

The Stars halted an 0-2-2 skid with Tuesday's victory over Ottawa, but fell right back into the loss column on Thursday despite a solid offensive effort versus the Winnipeg Jets.

Dallas outshot Winnipeg 47-22, but got just one of those shots past Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec in a 2-1 setback. That goal by Trevor Daley didn't come until there was 1:16 left to play.

The Stars went 0-for-7 on the power play and gave up a short-handed goal as backup netminder Anders Lindback made 20 saves.

"Utter domination, but didn't finish great opportunities," Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said. "You have to give Pavelec a lot of credit, but at the same time our near misses should be in the back of the net."

Ruff's club will try to extend its recent run of success over the Capitals, who they have outscored 14-4 over the past four meetings.

The Stars also have won five of the past six encounters at home and are 11-1-2 as the hosting club in this series since relocating from Minnesota to Dallas.

Kari Lehtonen, who was pulled early in Tuesday's win over Ottawa and left without a decision, could get the start tonight for a Dallas club that will visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Lehtonen is 13-6-2 all-time versus the Capitals with a 2.54 goals against average and .926 save percentage in 21 meetings.

Washington had a nine-game point streak (7-0-2) snapped with Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Predators in head coach Barry Trotz's return to Nashville. Trotz faced his former club for the first time since his 15-season run as the club's coach came to an end this past offseason.

Washington led 3-2 late in the game, but Nashville scored twice over the final 4 1/2 minutes, getting the winner with 1:40 to play.

Alex Ovechkin notched a pair of goals in the loss, giving him eight goals in his past nine games. Braden Holtby made 26 saves in his 21st straight start as the Caps lost in regulation for only the second time in 20 games (14-2-4).

"We wanted to win for (Trotz)," Ovechkin said. "We had the lead, but didn't finish it up."

Holtby's run of consecutive starts is expected to end tonight, with backup Justin Peters will get the call for the first time since Nov. 29. He has never before faced Dallas.