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Dallas remains strong on home ice

THE Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Sunday for their 11th win in their past 13 games at home this season.

The win pulled the Stars level with the Anaheim Ducks for fifth place in the Western Conference. Both teams have 59 points with the Stars holding the tiebreaker based on four fewer games.

"They're not all masterpieces but we'll take the win," Stars coach Dave Tippett told reporters. "That was the game that the team that got the lead was going to have a distinct advantage."

The Stars scored the game's first two goals and added two more in the third period.

Brian Sutherby's shorthanded goal and a score from Mark Parrish gave the Stars a 2-0 first period lead.

Jason Arnott brought Nashville back into the game at 2-1 in the second period with his 20th goal of the season before Dallas moved out of reach in the third. Brad Richards, who had an assist on Sutherby's score, found the net on a powerplay 1:42 into the third and Steve Ott added an empty-netter with 1:34 to go to complete the scoring.

"We weren't on our best tonight but we picked it up in the third," Richards said.

Dallas netminder Marty Turco, playing his fourth game in six days, made 25 saves.

"I need to be playing with poise and confidence and make saves regardless of what happens with rebounds and blocked shots," Turco, who was making his 23rd consecutive start, said.

Dan Ellis made 18 stops for Nashville, who had won four in a row going into the game.

In Pittsburgh, Pavel Datsyuk scored twice, Marian Hossa added a goal midway through the third period and Ty Conklin shut out his former Pittsburgh Penguins teammates, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-0 victory.

Datsyuk scored on a power play midway through the second period after the Penguins squandered three opportunities with the man advantage in the first. Conklin didn't need much help after that, turning aside all 25 Pittsburgh shots.

Datsyuk added his second of the game and 22nd of the season with 2:12 remaining.

Hossa, who turned down an estimated US$40 million more from Pittsburgh in an extended contract to sign a one-year deal with Detroit, scored 6 and a half minutes earlier to all but seal the win in Detroit's first visit to Pittsburgh since wrapping up the Stanley Cup finals with a Game 6 victory over the Penguins.

In Atlanta, Jeff Carter scored his 33rd and 34th goals of the season to help Philadelphia beat Atlanta 3-2 for the 14th straight time.

Joffrey Lupul also scored, and Antero Nittymaki made 29 saves to improve to 13-0 against Atlanta. Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov had power-play goals for Atlanta.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, Mikko Koivu scored in the fourth round of a shootout, beating Dwayne Roloson with a shot between the leg pads, to give Minnesota its ninth straight home victory - 3-2 over Edmonton.

Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves and stopped all four attempts in the shootout.

Antti Miettinen and Eric Belanger scored in regulation for Minnesota.

Sheldon Souray and Sam Gagner scored for Edmonton.


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