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Stars-Penguins Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins

Thursday, October 22

6:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (5-1-0) ran their winning streak to four games with a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia Tuesday. Antti Niemi stopped 34 shots and Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin both had one goal and one assist.

“We're a confident group in here. We know when we play the right way, and we do the right things we're going to be successful,” Benn said. “Some nights aren't going to be as pretty as others, but it's a matter of getting the two points in the end.”

Seguin has had a hand in the last six goals that Dallas has scored; Benn has had a hand in five of the last six.

Travis Moen, who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, has been placed on injured reserve.

Niemi, who shut out Pittsburgh in Dallas on opening night, is the likely starter in goal Thursday.

Thursday’s game wraps up a four-game road trip for the Stars, who are 3-0-0 in the first three games.

Injuries: LW Travis Moen (upper body), LW Curtis McKenzie (lower body) and RW Patrick Eaves (lower body) are out.

About the Penguins

The Penguins (3-3-0) are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over Florida Tuesday. Evgeni Malkin tallied 1:21 into the extra period for the Penguins, who won their third straight game after opening the season with three straight losses. Sidney Crosby, who hadn’t scored in the first five games, scored one goal and assisted on two others in Tuesday’s victory.

“He was all over the ice, protecting the puck, making plays,” Penguins defenseman Kris Letang told the team’s official site. “You knew he was coming. Yes, it’s frustrating when you don’t score goals. But he’s got his head on straight, so it was a matter of time. He’s a great player. He finds a way all the time.”

Tuesday’s game was the first time the Penguins had scored more than two goals in a game this season. The Penguins scored twice on the power play after going 0-17 with the man-advantage in the first five games.

Rookie forward Daniel Sprong missed Tuesday’s game due to a visa issue and is questionable for Thursday. Forward Kevin Porter suffered an undisclosed injury in Tuesday’s game and did not practice Wednesday.

D Tim Erixon was re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) Wednesday.

Thursdays’ game wraps up a five-game homestand for the Penguins, who are 3-1-0 in the first four games.

Injuries: F KevinPorter (undisclosed) is questionable. F Pascal Dupuis (lower body), F Eric Fehr (elbow) and F Beau Bennett (undisclosed) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars won the first meeting, 3-0, in Dallas on Oct. 8.

Statistical tidbits

*Through Tuesday, the Stars ranked third in the league in scoring at 3.50 goals per game.

*Pittsburgh ranked second in goals against at 1.83 per game.

*The Stars were tied for tenth in goals against at 2.33 per game.

*The Penguins ranked 27th in goal scoring at 1.67 per game.

*The Stars have scored three goals or more in five of their six games.

*The Penguins have scored two goals or fewer in five of their six games.

*Both the Stars and Penguins have allowed two goals or fewer in four of their six games.

*Through Tuesday, the Stars ranked third in the power play at 30.0 percent (6-20) and ninth on the penalty kill at 86.7 percent (13-15).

*The Penguins ranked 26th on the power play at 10.0 percent (2-20) and 12th on the penalty kill at 85.0 percent (17-20).

*Through Tuesday, Stars captain Jamie Benn (six goals, four assists) and center Tyler Seguin (four goals, six assists) co-led the NHL with ten points.

*Evgeni Malkin leads the Penguins in scoring with five points (three goals, two 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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