Stars-Penguins Preview

Friday, 01.24.2014 / 8:06 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Penguins Preview

Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars
Saturday, January 25
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (23-20-8) are coming off a 7-1 win over Toronto at American Airlines Center on Thursday. The Stars scored five-on-five, on the power play, shorthanded and with the teams playing four-on-four in the game. It was the second straight win for the Stars.

“We’ve found our confidence back again,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We know how we have to play to win hockey games. I think we’ve seen that the last two games.”

The consecutive wins come on the heels of a 1-8-1 start to the month of January. The Stars have outscored their opponents 11-1 over the last two games.

“We want to live in the present. Today was a good day. The last game was a good day. We’ll move on and get ready for a really good team coming in here,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We talked a lot during the tough stretch that what’s behind us we can’t really deal with. We’ve got to win the next game. Now, we’ve won a couple and we’re looking to run some together. Pittsburgh is a different beast.”

Center Cody Eakin, who left Thursday’s game with an upper body injury, did not practice Friday but is expected to play Saturday. Shawn Horcoff and Rich Peverley had maintenance days Friday and did not practice.

Injuries: C Cody Eakin (upper body) is probable. D Stephane Robidas (leg) is out.

About the Penguins

The Penguins (36-13-2) are coming off a 6-4 win at the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Penguins overcame an early 2-0 deficit in the game. Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz both had one goal and two assists in the game.

“It’s hard not to have it be one of those types of games,” said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. “They do a good job of stretching it out, making long plays and having people behind us and that happened. But it had that drama. We got down by two and had to crawl back into it with two great plays by the Crosby line and Kunitz. It just seemed to be a lot of up and down flow in the game.”

Former Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen had two assists and a plus-three rating in the game. Niskanen leads the NHL with a plus-29 rating this season, and ranks 12th among NHL defensemen in scoring with 30 points (7 goals, 23 assists) in 51 games.

Injuries: LW Pascal Dupuis (ACL), RW Beau Bennett (wrist), G Tomas Vokoun (hip), RW Chris Conner (hand), C Joe Vitale (wrist) and C Brian Gibbons (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Penguins.

*The two teams did not play last season.

*The Stars and Penguins last played Feb. 29, 2012 in Dallas with Pittsburgh winning 4-3 in a shootout.

*The Stars are 1-5-2 in their last eight games against Pittsburgh dating back to 2003-04.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have scored on the power play in six straight games and are 7-21 (33.3 percent) during that stretch.

*Pittsburgh is 11-11 on the penalty kill over the last four games and has the top ranked penalty kill in the league at 88.2 percent.

*The Penguins have the top ranked power play in the league at 25.0 percent.

*The Stars are 11-11 on the penalty kill over the last four games.

*Pittsburgh has scored four goals or more in 10 of its last 15 games.

*The Penguins rank fourth in the NHL in scoring at 3.22 per game.

*The Stars rank ninth in scoring at 2.84 per game.

*The Penguins are 10-2-1 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Stars are 7-10-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has eight points (three goals, five assists) over the last six games.

*Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen is on a six-game points streak (two goals, seven assists).

*Tyler Seguin leads Dallas in goals (21) and points (47).

*Sidney Crosby leads Pittsburgh in goals (27) and points (72).

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.




1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49


J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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