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Stars Vs. Bruins: Boston Returns Home For First-Place Battle With Dallas

The Boston Bruins return home from their mini-road trip in Carolina to face the Pacific Division leading Dallas Stars. The Bruins are now 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, while the Stars come into Boston 6-3-1 over the same time.

The Bruins and Stars sit at the exact same spot in the standings, in third place in their respective conferences, with 65 points. The Bruins lead sixth place Montreal by four points, and Dallas leads fifth place San Jose by five points.

The Matchup:

This will be the first time the Dallas Stars (30-16-5) and Boston Bruins (29-15-7) have met on the season. As far as stat leaders, Dallas leads in almost everything compared to Boston, from points to penalty minutes, but the Bruins have the clear advantage at the goalie position.

The Stats:

Boston scores more goals per game, at 3.02 compared to Dallas' 2.82. The Stars also allow more goals, at 2.69 (Bruins are at 2.14). The Bruins penalty killing unit has carried them all season long, and it is the fourth best in the league at 84.8%, while Dallas struggles with it, at 78.9%. The Bruins have also scored more shorthanded goals and allowed less.

The Players:

Dallas leads in almost every stat, with Brad Richards leading the team in points with 58. Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins in points, with 41. Brenden Morrow has 21 goals, while Milan Lucic has 20.

As for goaltenders, Tim Thomas is just better than everyone right now. He leads the world in every stat possible. As far as Kari Lethonen on the Dallas side, he has a 2.61 GAA and .915 save percentage. The Stars' backup goalie, Andrew Raycroft, has a 2.42 GAA and .920 S%.

The Injuries:

Marc Savard is still out with a concussion, and was supposed to be evaluated in Boston on Wednesday, but due to the storm, he stayed in Peterbourogh. Other than that, the Bruins have been fortunate injury wise in the last few weeks. As for Dallas, Mark Fistic is questionable with an illness. Out for the Stars is Toby Peterson for "other-excused" and Tom Wendell with a shoulder injury. Jamie Benn is also questionable with a lower body injury.

Game Notes:

Yesterday the Stars called up Aaron Gagnon and Travis Moren from the AHL's Texas Stars. You have to think that means Benn or Fistic will be out tonight. Raymond Sawada was also called up, but that was after placing Wendell on IR.