Strong start a focus for Stars

DALLAS -- The last two times the Dallas Stars have played at American Airlines Center, slow starts hurt them and cost them two points.

Last week there was the 4-1 loss to Phoenix and then on Sunday it was a 4-2 loss to Los Angeles. In both games, the Stars were sluggish to start and fell behind early.

Tonight, the Stars play the Calgary Flames, another team they are battling for a spot in the postseason, and getting off to a good start is a focus.

“We’ve got to set the tone with our start in the first period and make sure we are coming out hard,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. “It’s going to be a 60 minute, hard game.”

Talking about a good start is one thing. Delivering one is another.

“It’s a mindset,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “Maybe it has to start in warmups, pass the puck hard and do the right things in warmups. In the room, before the game, you have to get that mindset where everything is going deep and you do everything hard. We’ve got to get on the forecheck and spend time in their zone. That’s how you create momentum.”

The Stars come into the game three points behind Flames, who are in ninth place in the Western Conference.

It looks like the Stars will go with the same lineup as last game. Kari Lehtonen is in goal.