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Stars try to continue climb up the standings vs. Thrashers

Atlanta (17-26-5) at Dallas (20-18-7) 8:30 p.m. EST

DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Stars have overcome a

roller-coaster first half to remain in contention for a playoff

spot in the Western Conference.

The Stars look to continue their recent success on Tuesday when

they host the Atlanta Thrashers.

Dallas opened the campaign 6-10-4, enduring injuries to Brenden

Morrow and defenseman Sergei Zubov. Both players remain

sidelined after Morrow suffered a torn anterior cruciate

ligament in his right knee and Zubov underwent surgery on his

left hip.

After falling to the bottom of the Pacific Division, the Stars

were forced to deal with Steve Avery, who was dismissed from the

team following a six-game suspension by the NHL in December for

making inappropriate comments referring to former girlfriend -

and current sweetheart of Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf

- Elisha Cuthbert.

But, Dallas has rebounded with a 9-4-3 record in its last 16

games, moving within four points of three teams for eighth place

in the West.

The Stars should continue their surge against the Thrashers, who

have lost nine of 10 all-time meetings with Dallas but has not

faced the team since dropping a 5-3 decision on November 17,

2006.

Atlanta had won three straight games before closing the first

half with a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

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