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Stars-Penguins Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars
Tuesday, February 28
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (24-28-10) lost 6-3 to Boston Sunday at American Airlines Center. It was the eighth loss in the past eleven games for the Stars and left them nine points out of a playoff spot with 20 games remaining.

"It's one game at a time," said Stars forward Tyler Seguin. "Come here and do your job. One game, one shift, one period at a time. Put everything behind us and don't look too far ahead. We've got to come in and do our job every game."

The Stars traded defenseman Jordie Benn to Montreal Monday for defenseman Greg Pateryn and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

"Greg is a solid defender and possesses a physical presence on the back-end. He brings size and another right shot into the mix for us," Stars GM Jim Nill said.

Stars forward Ales Hemsky, who has been out since late October due to hip surgery, continues to practice with the team and is getting closer to a return. He will not play Tuesday.

"He's getting closer" Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "There's a good chance we could see him in the next couple games, not [Tuesday], but after that, I think we'd take a chance of trying to get him up and running. I don't think it's going to be easy for him to have that much time off, but he's at a place now where I think he's going to be cleared to play."

Tuesday's game is the fourth of a five-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: C/LW Adam Cracknell (lower body), RW Ales Hemsky (hip) and C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) are on injured reserve.

About the Penguins

The Penguins (38-14-8) defeated Philadelphia 4-2 at Heinz Field in a Stadium Series game Saturday. Matt Murray made 36 saves, and four different Pittsburgh players scored goals.

"Not everybody is as lucky to play in these kind of events, so to do it at home, to have friends and family here, to take in the whole experience with the guys, I think it's exciting. Those are things you're fortunate to be part of," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "When you're able to win, it's always better."

The Penguins improved to 8-1-3 over their past 12 games.

Tuesday's game kicks off a two-game road trip for the Penguins who play at Chicago Wednesday.

Injuries: D Kris Letang (upper body) is day to day. F Conor Sheary (upper body), F Bryan Rust (upper body), D Olli Maatta (hand) and D Trevor Daley (knee) are on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Penguins.

*The Penguins won the first meeting, 6-2, in Pittsburgh on Dec. 1.

*The Stars are 4-0-1 in their past five games against the Penguins in Dallas.

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 17-10-6 at home.

*The Penguins are 13-10-5 on the road.

*The Stars are 7-11-4 vs. the Eastern Conference including 3-5-3 against the Metropolitan Division.

*The Penguins are 12-4-5 vs. the Western Conference including 5-4-1 against the Central Division.

*The Stars are 3-8-0 in February.

*The Penguins are 7-1-3 in February.

*Pittsburgh leads the NHL in goal scoring at 3.48 goals per game.

*The Stars rank 29th in goals against at 3.23 per game.

*Pittsburgh ranks sixth on the power play at 21.7 percent.

*The Stars rank 30th on the penalty kill at 73.3 percent.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in his past 19 games.

*Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 34 goals and ranks second in the league with 67 points.

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 Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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