Defensive Struggles

Marty Turco doesn't seem to be getting much support from the Dallas Stars defense. Rick DiPietro, meanwhile, could certainly use some support now that he's finally back in net for the New York Islanders.

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After suffering a setback, the Stars look to end their defensive woes when they wrap up their swing through the New York metropolitan area on Thursday night against DiPietro and the Islanders.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Dallas -120 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -120 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Despite boasting arguably one of the NHL's better goaltenders in Turco, Dallas (2-3-1) has already yielded 29 goals.

The Stars' defense seemed to be back on track with a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers on Monday, but Dallas reverted back to its bad habits in a 5-0 loss to New Jersey on Wednesday.

Turco allowed three goals on 17 shots in 30:17 of action, and rookie Tobias Stephan gave up two quick scores in the third period and finished with 10 saves.

"If you give up five goals on 20 shots, you're not going to win," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "You could be the 1980 Oilers, you're still not going to win."

Turco has started every game for Dallas this season, posting a 4.05 goals-against average. While Dallas may decide to rest Turco, New York (2-3-0) is set to give DiPietro his first start at Nassau Coliseum this season.

The Islanders' No. 1 goalie made his first start of the season on Saturday, making 34 saves in a 2-0 loss to Florida. He was effective in his first action after dressing as the backup in New York's first four games while recovering from offseason surgery on his knee and hip.

"I felt good," DiPietro said. "It's nice to, obviously, be back and contribute. Unfortunately, we lost, obviously, but nice to get my feet wet and finally see some action."

DiPietro went 14-12-3 with a 2.61 GAA at home last season. He'll need the Islanders to end their problems on offense in hopes of picking up his first win of the season.

New York has scored one goal or less in each of its three losses. The Islanders failed to find the back of the net despite 31 shots on goal against the Panthers.

Trent Hunter, who leads the Islanders with four goals, had a scoring opportunity with five minutes remaining in the game, but was turned away by Tomas Vokoun. Hunter was held without a goal for the first time in four games, but has four goals in five games against Dallas.

New York captain Bill Guerin led the team with a season-high six shots on goal, but he was held off the scoresheet for the second time this season.

The Islanders will be facing a Stars team that has had its own problems scoring over the past week. Dallas has scored two goals or less in three of its last four games.

The Stars won 3-2 in overtime on Long Island on Nov. 26 in the teams' only matchup last season. The Islanders, though, are 3-0-1 at Nassau Coliseum versus Dallas since losing the previous five contests.

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