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GAME: Detroit Red Wings (28-15-6-2) at Dallas Stars (23-20-8-0).TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.
One of the NHL's top rivalries in recent years was becoming very one-sided.
That trend might be ending.
Marty Turco and the surging Dallas Stars look to avenge a pair of lopsided losses from earlier in the season when they host the stumbling Detroit Red Wings.
These teams have been among the Western Conference's elite over the last decade. They tied all four meetings last season and over the previous seven years, Dallas held a slim 13-11-2-1 lead in the series.
While the Red Wings got off to another strong start this season, the Stars struggled and two of their worst losses came in matchups with Detroit -- 4-0 on Oct. 24, and 6-2 on Nov. 12.
Turco was in net for both of those defeats and remains in search of his first win over the Red Wings. He is 0-3-4 with a 3.14 goals-against average in seven career starts against them.
The two losses to Detroit, however, were among the few poor performances this season by Turco, who has allowed no more than two goals in 24 of his last 30 games. He led Dallas to a home-and-home sweep of St. Louis this week, winning 2-0 on Thursday and 3-2 on Friday.
"I know I can play a lot better and certainly be more consistent and more efficient," said Turco, who will start for the Western Conference in next month's All-Star game.
"But I haven't felt much better than I do now."
Led by Turco, the Stars have gone from three games under .500 to three above the break-even mark in a little more than a month, going 9-4-4 in their last 17 games. Dallas has won four of five to stay within seven points of red-hot San Jose for the Pacific Division lead.
The Red Wings have a seven-point lead in the Central, but have won just two of their last eight (2-4-1-1).
While the Stars have consistently relied on Turco, the Red Wings have no such stability in net.
Dominik Hasek went on injured reserve last Monday due to a groin injury that has caused him to miss 30 games. There remains no target date for his return.
Curtis Joseph is 1-4-1 with a 3.11 GAA in his last six starts. Manny Legace has played well the last two months but has made just seven starts in that span, winning four times and allowing more than two goals just twice.
In Saturday's 5-2 loss at Phoenix, Joseph allowed four goals on only eight shots before being pulled in favor of Legace at the start of the third period.
"It wasn't my best game for sure," Joseph said. "It's not going my way right now. As a goalie you want to be your team's best player and best penalty-killer but I wasn't."
Detroit is wrapping up a five-game road trip, having gone 1-2-1 thus far.
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