Stars look to recharge during short break

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars have three days between games and it’s their longest break since the All-Star break. They’ve played 24 games in 45 days, posting a 14-7-3 record to take over first in the Pacific Division and the third seed in the Western Conference.

But after a 5-2 loss in Winnipeg on Wednesday and then 4-1 loss to Chicago in Dallas on Friday, the break gives the Stars a chance to rest up for the final ten games of the season, which will determine if they’ll get into the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

“If it was two games ago when we were on a big run we probably wouldn’t have liked the timing of it, but when you’re coming off a couple of losses like we just had, it’s probably a good time,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “We’re going to be in a big grind here over the next 10 games and they’re going to dictate our fate, so it’s going to be nice to have a couple of days where you could just recharge the batteries and be ready for that hard push.”

Two players who have been out with injuries – Sheldon Souray and Radek Dvorak – will get a couple more days to heal . Both are expected to return for Tuesdays’ game against Phoenix.

“The three-day break comes at a great time because it gives us time to heal a couple of the guys, Dvorak and Hammer, and it gives us to time to get away,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “And we’re still in a playoff spot no matter what happens here as far as games go and we have to focus on our last 10 and I think this three days gives us a good chance to do that.”

While the Stars will still be in a playoff spot, things are getting tighter in the standings. Their lead in the Pacific Division is down to one point and so is their lead over the ninth place spot in the Western Conference.

San Jose beat Detroit in overtime, pulling to within one point of the Stars for the Pacific Division lead with a game in hand. Los Angeles, which is currently in ninth place, beat Nashville and they are now one point behind the Stars with the same number of games played.

Colorado tied the Stars at 83 points Saturday, beating the New York Rangers. The Stars have two games in hand on the Avalanche.

Power plays over the last two games: 0

The Stars didn’t have a power play chance in Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Chicago. It was the second straight game of no power play opportunities for the Stars.

“We’ve got to generate more flurries and pucks towards the net, so you make teams defend you and take penalties on you,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I thought there could have been a couple of penalties, but you can’t beg. You have to work to create opportunities that force them to defend and take you down. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

Four times this season the Stars have not had a power play in the game. Colorado leads the league in that category this season, going five games without a chance on the power play.

Stars practice in Euless Sunday

The Stars didn’t practice on Saturday. They will practice at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Euless Sunday morning at 10:30. Practice is open to the public. The Euless Dr. Pepper StarCenter is located at 1400 South Pipeline, Euless, TX 76040.