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Despite a stunning loss to the NHL's worst team in their last game, the Detroit Red Wings are still in position to move into the Western Conference lead. It may not be too long before the Dallas Stars join that race.
The Wings (36-16-6) look to bounce back and move past Nashville for first place in the West when they visit the surging Stars (34-20-2) on Wednesday night.
Detroit lost 6-1 at Philadelphia on Monday night, blowing a chance to pass the Predators, who remain one point up on the Wings. Nashville hosts San Jose on Wednesday.
Detroit took a 1-1 tie into the third period Monday before allowing five Flyers goals in the final 20 minutes.
"It wasn't that we didn't play the whole game. We were right in the game," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "The wheels came off badly."
Joey MacDonald gave up all six goals on 33 shots for Detroit, and has allowed 10 goals in his last two games. He has started the last three contests in place of Dominik Hasek, who's day-to-day with tendinitis in his wrist.
Hasek allowed four total goals as the Red Wings won the first two matchups with the Stars this season. Detroit is 3-0-1 against Dallas since a 6-3 loss on Jan. 8, 2006.
The Stars, however, have won three straight and five of six to make up ground in the West, and added a proven scorer in Ladislav Nagy via trade Monday. Dallas' 70 points puts it fifth in the conference, just behind San Jose and Anaheim.
Nagy, who had eight goals and 41 points in 55 games for Phoenix, was acquired for forward Mathias Tjarnqvist and a first-round draft pick. The 27-year-old Nagy is in his seventh NHL season.
"Ladislav brings speed and skill to our hockey club and has proven to be a top-six NHL forward over his career," Stars general manager Doug Armstrong said.
Nagy, with 102 goals and 169 assists in 372 career games, is likely to make his Stars debut Wednesday.
Jeff Halpern had a goal and two assists to lead Dallas to a 7-5 victory over Colorado on Sunday. The Stars set a season high for goals and were involved in a 12-goal game for the first time in more than nine years, their last one coming in an 8-4 victory over Buffalo in December 1997.
Dallas is winning even though All-Star goalie Marty Turco is struggling. He gave up three goals, including two in less than a minute in the second period, before being pulled from his second straight start Sunday.
In his previous game last Tuesday night, Turco allowed two goals on seven shots in the first eight minutes against Minnesota. The Stars rebounded to win 4-2 after Mike Smith took over.
"I haven't been my best the last couple weeks and it's making Tip (coach Dave Tippett) a little nervous," Turco said.
History suggests Turco might have a tough time getting back in the win column Wednesday. He's 1-8-0 with five ties and a 2.91 goals-against average in 15 games against Detroit.
Dallas center Eric Lindros missed Sunday's game with a lower-body injury, and is listed as day-to-day. He hasn't scored since Nov. 20, and has just five goals and 21 assists in 44 games.
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