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Preview: Penguins at Stars

Pittsburgh without Kris Letang; Greg Pateryn won't make debut for Dallas

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

PENGUINS (38-14-8) AT STARS (24-28-10)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, ROOT, NHL.TV


Penguins team scope

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is not on this road trip and will not play against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday or the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. "We felt it was better that he stayed back and was able to get better rehab and quality skates with our skills coach back there," coach Mike Sullivan said. Pittsburgh placed forward Eric Fehr on waivers on Tuesday, but he skated on the fourth line with Tom Kuhnackl and Matt Cullen and could play. "We've really like (Fehr's) game the past couple weeks," Sullivan said. "He' playing very good hockey for us. Obviously this is an aspect of the game that surround the business of the game. Our management I think we're looking for more flexibility around the trade deadline." Matt Murray will start in goal after making 36 saves in a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2017 Coors Light Stadium Series game on Saturday. 


Stars team scope

The Stars juggled their defense pairs after trading Jordie Benn to the Montreal Canadiens for Greg Pateryn and a fourth-round draft pick on Monday. Coach Lindy Ruff said Pateryn won't play, meaning Jamie Oleksiak or Stephen Johns likely will be paired with Dan Hamhuis. Although the Stars have been trading away players, Ruff said they are still focused on making the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "We've got a job to do and it's my job to get them in the right place," Ruff said. "I want them to go out and do their job. Take pride in their play. We want to win as many games as we can. Until that day come where it's no longer possible to get in, you've got to win as many games in the meantime." Antti Niemi will start in goal for the first time since Feb. 14. He has played in three of the Stars' past 16 games.


Penguins projected lineup

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Jake Guentzel

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Scott Wilson -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin -- Ron Hainsey

Justin Schultz -- Cameron Gaunce

Ian Cole -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Carter Rowney, Steve Oleksky

Injured: Kris Letang (upper body), Bryan Rust (upper body), Trevor Daley (lower body), Olli Maatta (hand), Conor Sheary (upper body) 


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Cody Eakin -- Brett Ritchie

Antoine Roussel -- Tyler Seguin -- Patrick Sharp

Lauri Korpikoski -- Radek Faksa -- Jason Spezza

Curtis McKenzie -- Devin Shore -- Jiri Hudler

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Jamie Oleksiak

Johnny Oduya -- Stephen Johns

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Remi Elie, Patrik Nemeth, Greg Pateryn

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Adam Cracknell (lower body)


Status report

Sullivan said Sheary is getting closer and could play next week. ... Janmark took part in a morning skate for the first time since having surgery in September. Ruff said Hemsky may be able to play Thursday.


Who's hot

Crosby has goals in three straight games and 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in his past 18 games. ... Benn has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his past 13 games. Seguin has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past six games.

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