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Stars-Capitals Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Thursday, November 19

6:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (15-4-0) ran their winning streak to three games with a 3-1 win at Buffalo Tuesday. Valeri Nichushkin, Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin scored for Dallas, and Antti Niemi stopped 24 of 25 shots.

“I thought we played the game pretty well the right way. We limited the opportunities,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I thought [the Sabres] played a great game. They gave themselves a chance to win. It was a hard-fought game.”

The Stars, who are 6-1-0 in their past seven games, are off to the best 19-game start in franchise history.

The Stars close out their two-game road trip against a Washington team that is off to a strong start.

“They play [Wednesday night], which should play into our hands a little bit. But they’ve had a little bit of a break in between games, so I don’t think that is a huge factor,” Ruff said. “[Braden] Holtby has been playing very good for them [in goal], whether we get him or not. They’ve got three solid lines and an energy line that can give you some problems.”

Injuries: None

The Capitals (12-4-1) won 2-1 in overtime at Detroit Wednesday. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 45 seconds into the extra period for Washington, which got a 25-save effort from goaltender Braden Holtby.

“We probably had the most one-goal games in the league last year, and it built our mental toughness,” Holtby told NBC Sports Network. “We haven’t been real strong with it this year, not as strong as we want to be, but tonight was a step in the right direction.”

The Capitals improved to 4-1-1 over their past six games.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury Wednesday. He could play Thursday.

Thursday’s game kicks off a five-game homestand for Washington.

Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body) is day to day.

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

*The Stars were 2-0-0 vs. Washington last season.

*The Stars have won seven straight games against the Capitals, including the past four in Washington.

*The Stars are 8-2-0 on the road.

*The Capitals are 6-2-1 at home.

*The Stars are 9-3-0 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Washington is 4-1-1 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Stars lead the league in scoring at 3.58 goals per game.

*Washington ranks fifth in goals against at 2.24 per game.

*The Capitals are tied for fifth in scoring at 3.00 per game.

*The Stars are tied for 14th in goals against at 2.53 per game.

*The Stars rank second in the NHL on the power play at 29.3 percent.

*Washington ranks fifth in the league on the penalty kill at 85.4 percent.

*Washington ranks seventh on the power play at 21.8 percent.

*The Stars rank 20th on the penalty kill at 79.3 percent.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in scoring with 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists).

* Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the Capitals in scoring with 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists).

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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