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Preview: Stars begin key road swing in Pittsburgh

The season-long trip will see Dallas play six games in 10 days

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge
Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins

Sunday, March 11
6:30 p.m.
TV: NBCSN
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

 

About the Stars

The Stars (38-24-6) rallied for a 2-1 win over Anaheim on Friday at American Airlines Center. The Stars trailed 1-0 after two periods, but Devin Shore and Jamie Benn scored power-play goals as Dallas rallied in the third period for the fourth straight home game for a win or at least a point.

"It was huge," Benn said. "I think we stuck with our game and found a way to draw a couple penalties with some hard work from our guys. We found a way to take advantage. The main part is we stuck with our game for 60 minutes and got a big two points."

It was a big two points in the bank for the Stars who now head out on a season-long six game road trip. The Stars, who are 3-1-2 in their past six games, play at Pittsburgh, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Washington over a stretch of ten days.

"We're going to have to do some good work here on the road," said Shore. "We're feeling good going into the road trip, and then we will put it behind us and prepare for the next one."

The Stars play ten of their final 14 games of the regular season on the road.

Defenseman Marc Methot (knee) and forward Mattias Janmark (illness) both missed Friday's game. The status of both players remains unclear for Sunday's game. Goaltender Ben Bishop is on the trip but is still out with a knee injury.

Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 26 of 27 shots in Friday's victory, is the expected starter in goal for the Stars against the Penguins.

Injuries: D Marc Methot (knee) and F Mattias Janmark (illness) are questionable. G Ben Bishop (knee) and C Martin Hanzal (back) are out.

Video: "Our leaders came through for us"

 

About the Penguins

The Penguins (39-26-4) had a three-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss at Toronto Saturday night. The Maple Leafs led 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two, but the Penguins made it interesting with two extra-attacker goals late in the third before Toronto sealed the win with an empty-net goal.

"They got a couple of quality opportunities early, and they finished. They were opportunistic," said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan. "I thought we had a good start, we controlling territory, we were controlling momentum. The first couple of goals they got I don't think we made them work hard for and that's on us. We've got to take ownership of that."

Pittsburgh used both its goalies - Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith - in Saturday's game. Jarry started and was pulled after the second period.

Pittsburgh plays Dallas at home Sunday and then heads out on a three-game road trip.

Injuries: F Bryan Rust (concussion), F Zach Aston-Reese (upper body), F Dominik Simon (lower body), and G Matt Murray (concussion) are out.

 

Season Series
  • This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Penguins.

  • The Stars won the first meeting, 4-3 in a shootout, in Dallas on Feb. 9.

  • The Stars are 6-1-0 in their last seven games against Pittsburgh.

 

Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 14-14-3 on the road.

  • The Penguins are 25-8-1 at home.

  • The Stars are 14-5-6 vs. the Eastern Conference, including 7-3-3 against the Metropolitan Division.

  • The Penguins are 13-12-4 vs. the Western Conference, including 4-6-3 against the Central Division.

  • The Stars rank fourth in goals against at 2.57 per game.

  • The Penguins rank fifth in goal scoring at 3.25 per game.

  • The Penguins rank first in the NHL on the power play at 26.0 percent.

  • The Stars rank fourth on the penalty kill at 83.3 percent and are 22-23 on the PK over the last six games.

  • The Stars have scored 22 goals over the past 12 games (1.83 per game) and have scored two goals or fewer in nine of those 12 games.

  • The Penguins have scored four goals or more in 13 of their last 19 games.

  • Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is 8-5-1 on the road with a 1.81 goals against average and .932 save percentage.

  • Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (36) and points (64).

  • Evgeni Malkin leads the Penguins in goals (38) and points (85).

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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