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Penguins-Stars Preview @NHL

Sidney Crosby's first game at American Airlines Arena would have been more memorable if he had found a way to get on the scoresheet.

After failing to record a point in his All-Star debut there, the NHL's scoring leader will try to help the Pittsburgh Penguins earn their first win in Texas since 1995 when they meet the Dallas Stars on Friday.

The 19-year-old center has missed four games this season, but still has a league-best 72 points in just 43 contests. The leading vote-getter for this year's All-Star game, Crosby managed just three shots on goal in the Eastern Conference's 12-9 loss to the Western Conference on Wednesday.

"There were 21 goals, you think I would have had one," Crosby said, jokingly. "I guess it wasn't meant to be. I had a few chances, it just didn't work out."

Crosby did enjoy some success in Dallas as he scored on two of his three shots in the final individual shootout to lift the East to a win in the skills competition on Tuesday.

"It was fun to be in that situation. I didn't ask for it, but I liked it. Especially with all the ones that I missed this season, it was nice," said Crosby, who's failed to convert any of his five shootout chances this season and is only 2-for-11 in his career.

Now, he will try to keep the Penguins (21-17-8) on track for their first playoff appearance since 2000-01. With 50 points, Pittsburgh is tied with Toronto and the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

"We're not that far away," Penguins right wing Mark Recchi said. "A lot of the pieces are there."

Pittsburgh, though, has five losses and a tie in its last six visits to Dallas since a 5-1 win on Dec. 15, 1995. The Penguins have given up six goals in four of those contests.

They entered the break after posting one of their biggest wins of the season, an 8-2 rout of the Maple Leafs last Saturday. Recchi scored three straight power-play goals for his seventh career hat trick, Crosby had a goal and two assists and Evgeni Malkin had a career-high five assists.

Malkin leads all rookies with 52 points - 10 more than Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar - and is tied with Crosby for the team lead with 24 goals.

"I'm feeling much more comfortable right now," Malkin said through a translator. "I feel the size of the ice much better and I'm feeling much more comfortable now."

The Stars (29-18-1), meanwhile, will be trying to win their fourth in a row. Niklas Hagman scored in regulation and Stu Barnes scored the decisive goal in the ninth round of the shootout in Dallas' 2-1 victory at Minnesota last Saturday.

"It's usually exciting to watch, but when they tap your shoulder, you've got to be ready to go out there," Barnes said of only his second shootout try this season.

All-Star Marty Turco made 25 saves against the Wild to become the franchise's all-time leader with 161 wins, surpassing Ed Belfour. Turco stopped 12 of 15 shots in the third period to get the win for the West on Wednesday.

Philippe Boucher started in place of injured Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer in the All-Star game, but didn't record a point. Boucher, the Stars' leading scorer with 33 points, is the only defenseman to lead his team in scoring.

After this contest, the Stars hit the road to face Anaheim before playing two straight games in San Jose. Dallas is in third place in the Pacific Division with 59 points, five behind the Sharks and nine back of the first-place Ducks.

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