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Mike Ribeiro has 2 goals, 2 assists in Stars' 6-3 win over Predators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mike Ribeiro and the Stars kept swarming to the puck, and came away with another big win.

Ribeiro had two goals and two assists and Dallas beat the Nashville Predators 6-3 on Saturday night. Loui Eriksson also had two goals for the Stars, who have won 11 of their last 13 games. Antti Miettinen and Brenden Morrow added scores for Dallas.

"We were opportunistic around the goal," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "I thought we swarmed the puck pretty well, had people going to the net when the puck was going there, and found a way to make it go in."

Ville Koistinen, J.P. Dumont and Ryan Suter scored for Nashville, losers of two straight.

Ribeiro's two goals came in the second period. With the scored tied at 1, he tapped a rebound of a slap shot by Matt Niskanen into an empty net. Then, with the score knotted at 2, he added his 26th goal of the season with 3.9 seconds left in the period.

"I was trying to throw it to Loui on the back post, and I didn't even see how it went in," Ribeiro said of his second goal. "I've been playing average the last few games, so it was important for me to have a strong game tonight."

The Stars entered the game with an NHL-best second period goal differential of plus-24, and they improved to plus-27 Saturday by outscoring Nashville 3-0 in the middle frame.

"We lost the game in the second period," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought the third goal really affected us, and the fourth goal with about four seconds left was a stinger."

Miettinen made it 1-0 at 11:29 of the first period with his 13th goal of the season, beating Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis on the stick side with a one-timer from the left faceoff dot off of a pass from Jussi Jokinen.

"They capitalized on some fortunate bounces," Ellis said. "The pucks were just bouncing in different directions, and some of them found the net."

Koistinen drew the Predators even at 1 with a power-play goal at 13:10 of the first on a slap shot that beat goalie Mike Smith. Two of the rookie's three goals on the season have been scored on the power play.

Smith finished the night with 24 saves.

"The 'D' played great in front of me," Smith said. "They played well with the puck in our end and made the simple plays to get pucks out."

The Predators played the game without leading goal scorer Alexander Radulov, who missed his first game of the season because of the flu.

Morrow and Eriksson scored goals 29 seconds apart midway through the third period.

Notes: Nashville started the game with 11 forwards and seven defencemen, but right-winger Jed Ortmeyer left the game in the first period because of a right leg injury, leaving the team with just 10 forwards for the remainder of the game. ... The Predators played their last of nine February home games Saturday. They do not play another home game until March 11. ... Dallas is 7-4-1 in the second half of back-to-back games this season. ... Stars defenceman Mattias Norstrom has points in three consecutive games.



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