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Stars-Capitals Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars

Saturday October 5
7:00 p.m.
TV: TXA 21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/104.1 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (0-1-0) opened the season with a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center Thursday. The Stars had a 2-1 lead in the third period, but Florida scored two goals in a 4:33 span to take the lead and then sealed the win with an empty-net goal.

“You can’t take anything for granted,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “No lead is safe. We were up 2-1 and then bang-bang, they’re back up 3-2 with four minutes to go. So we’ve got to be more sound defensively.”

The Stars gave up 39 shots in the game, something they’ll look to improve on in Saturday’s game against Washington.

“I expect to see a lot more battle,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We went by too many battles tonight. We didn’t stop on pucks. And I really feel we built our preseason over most of that, and we took some of those plays for granted tonight.”

Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 35 of 38 shots in Thursday’s game, is expected to start Saturday night.

Injuries: C Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) is probable. D Aaron Rome (hip) is out.

About the Capitals

The Capitals (1-1-0) overcame a 3-0 deficit and defeated Calgary 5-4 in a shootout in Washington Thursday. Alex Ovechkin scored two goals in regulation and also tallied in the shootout for the Capitals.

"We've done it a lot before, come back like that," Washington forward Brooks Laich said. "We've got potent offensive guys that can do it, so the game is never over."

Goaltender Braden Holtby was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on 11 shots. Holtby, who has given up eight goals on 45 shots over his first two starts, will get the nod in net Saturday against the Stars.

“Everybody has hiccups. Everybody," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "And he's got to understand that's what it is.”

Injuries: D Jack Hillen (leg) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Capitals this season.

*The two teams last met on November 8, 2011, when the Stars won 5-2 in Washington.

*The Stars are 42-27-18 all-time against the Capitals.

Statistical tidbits

*The Capitals are 5-9 (55.6 percent) on the power play through their first two games.

*The Stars were 4-4 on the penalty kill in their season opener.

*The Capitals are 7-9 (77.8 percent) on the penalty kill through their first two games.

*The Stars were 0-3 on the power play and failed to register a shot on goal while having the man-advantage in their first game.

*Alex Ovechkin leads Washington in goals (3) and points (5) through two games.

*Brenden Dillon leads the Stars in points with 2 (1 goal, 1 assist).

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 11-6-2 in his career against Washington with a 2.76 goals against average and .920 save percentage.

*Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has never faced the Dallas Stars in his career.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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