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Stars Seek End To Playoff Drought In Short Season

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NEWARK, NJ - MAY 06: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on May 6, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Flyers 4-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jaromir Jagr, who signed with the Stars this offseason, skates against the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars are a long way from playoff relevance after four straight years without a postseason trip.

Such a drought was unthinkable when team captain Brenden Morrow was a rookie in 2000 and Dallas was in the middle of a four-year stretch that included 73 playoff games.

Getting back to the playoffs will require the Stars to navigate the NHL’s version of a short season — a 48-game schedule trimmed by the 113-day lockout.

The Stars think they upgraded their offense by adding Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, a pair of 40-year-old forwards who went through the NHL’s last 48-game season in 1994-95.

The long-delayed opener is Saturday night at home against Phoenix.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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