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Reply To: NHL • Tuesday Service Plays • 12/1/15

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Preview: Dallas at Calgary

When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday and leads the league with 18 goals while second in points (35), but all the individual accolades mean little to him. Dallas has won 19 of its first 24 games and tries to extend the best start in franchise history with its third straight victory and eighth in nine games when it visits the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, beginning a three-game stretch over four days against the western Canada teams.

“We’re happy with where we’re sitting right now, but there are teams right on our butts,” Benn told reporters. “Tyler (Seguin) and I love to score goals and we take a lot of pride in that, but we want to be complete players and those two-way players that are tough to play against. I get more excited where we sit in the standings than where we sit in the scoring race. This is about winning a Stanley Cup, not scoring titles.” Benn had a goal and assist to extend his goal streak to four games (six total) and point run to eight (eight goals, 14 points) in the Stars’ 4-3 overtime victory in Minnesota on Saturday which extended their lead in the Central Division to five points. Seguin is third in the NHL with 34 points and also recorded a goal and assist Saturday to extend his point streak to eight games (four goals, 11 points), and has recorded at least one point in 21-of-24 contests this season, with Benn 20-for-24. Calgary starts a five-game homestand after completing a 0-2-1 road trip with a 5-2 loss to San Jose on Saturday and puts its four-game home winning streak on the line against the NHL’s top road team (10-2-0) as it hopes to start turning its season around.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest Plus, SNET West (Calgary)

ABOUT THE STARS (19-5-0): Dallas has a budding star in John Klingberg, who is second in the NHL in assists with 22 and leads all defenseman with 27 points while drawing comparisons to two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson of Ottawa. “It’s an easy comparison, because the stick handling and the skating skill, their ability to get up ice and their ability to make plays,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff told reporters. “They’re both real special players and when you watch them play, if the jerseys were switched, sometimes you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.” Antti Niemi (10-4-0, 2.60 goals against average, .908 save percentage) has started the last two games since taking over for the injured Kari Lehtonen (upper body), who is expected to come off the injured list and be available Thursday in Vancouver.

ABOUT THE FLAMES (8-14-2): Johnny Gaudreau (team bests of 16 assists and 21 points) missed Monday’s practice with the flu and Sean Monahan (team-high seven goals with David Jones) left midway through the workout. “He wasn’t feeling right,” Calgary coach Bob Hartley told reporters. “I don’t know if he’s sick. He told me ‘I feel awful’ so I said ‘Get out of here.’” Karri Ramo (6-8-1, 3.02, .899) is expected to make his 14th start in the last 15 games.


1. Dallas has the second-best power play in the NHL at 27 percent but is 3-for-17 over its last six games, while Calgary (13.4) has the second-worst unit and is 1-for-21 in its past seven contests.

2. The Flames are last in penalty killing at 70.8 percent and have yielded six power-play goals in 12 opportunities over the last five games while the Stars have killed 13-of-15 penalties during that span.

3. Dallas won two of the three meetings last season, winning both contests in Calgary (4-3 in a shootout and 2-1) as the road team has prevailed in the last five encounters.

PREDICTION: Stars 3, Flames 2