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After being humbled by the Blackhawks, the Stars will get a chance at a do-over Thursday. Then they have to play the Capitals two nights later. How this team answers those two tests could tell GM Jim Nill a lot about what he should be looking for at the deadline.
Of the best teams in the league, the Stars are the one that looks like they may need a little extra by way of a pre-deadline trade. The offensive attack is unquestioned, but perhaps adding a veteran blue liner helps put them over the top.
The Stars seem to be managing to stop the bleeding on this tough stretch of the season. Losing eight of 10 with the offense sputtering amid a tightening race at the top of the Central has been less than ideal.
The Stars are hitting an awfully rough patch all of a sudden. After three straight losses, the Stars have dropped six of their last seven games. There have been some ugly losses in there as well. Even Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have been knocked off their previously cruising scoring pace.
After going 1-3-1 over their last five games, the Stars are enduring their toughest stretch of the season and suddenly have the hard-charging Blackhawks nipping at their heels.
The Stars also just lost back-to-back games for the first time this season and will look to avoid a third against the Rangers. That said, Patrick Sharp is heating up with 12 points over his active nine-game scoring streak.
Dallas has the best record in hockey and a nine-point advantage in the Central Division. Jamie Benn is one point off the league lead with 49 points as he looks to repeat as the Art Ross winner. He may have to fend off teammate Tyler Seguin to win it as Seguin has 47 points. Both have already eclipsed 20 goals this season as well.
The Stars have scored 120 goals this season, most in the NHL by 15 goals. It's a staggering total, led by Jamie Benn, who also leads the NHL with 22 goals. Tyler Seguin has 19.
The Stars became the first team in the NHL to reach 20 wins and finally supplanted the Canadiens as No. 1 in our Power Rankings. Meanwhile, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have combined for 70 points.
As incredible as the Stars' start was, they may be getting better. Dallas won 10 of 13 in November and while scoring fewer than three goals in a game only twice. They simply can't be slowed down right now.
Preseason Power Rankings
The first two games were pretty good samples of what we're used to seeing from Dallas. It may not be that way the whole year, but shutting out Pittsburgh in one game and giving up a six-spot to Colorado the next is certainly strange.
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