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Stars-Capitals Preview

Monday, 03.31.2014 / 6:09 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Capitals Preview
Previewing Tuesday night\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals.

Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals
Tuesday, April 1
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (View channel listings)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (36-27-11) are coming off a 4-2 victory in St. Louis Saturday. It was the second straight win for the Stars and snapped a four-game losing streak on the road. The victory left the Stars one point behind Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with one game in hand.

“We know we’ve got to win these big games against top teams if we are going to get into that wild card spot,” said Stars center Vernon Fiddler. “We’ve got a lot of guys willing to pay the price and do whatever it takes. We haven’t accomplished that yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Tuesday’s game kicks off a stretch of four straight road games against Eastern Conference teams. The Stars also play Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.

“It was a huge two points in St. Louis. We know this road trip is in our hands to take,” said Stars defenseman Jordie Benn. “We need to take this road trip.”

The Stars recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Texas Stars of the AHL on Monday due to an injury to defenseman Aaron Rome. Nemeth is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday.

Rome and forward Erik Cole (upper body) did not practice Monday but are both accompanying the team on the road trip.

Injuries: F Erik Cole (upper body), D Aaron Rome (lower body) and F Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) are out.

About the Capitals

The Capitals (34-28-13) are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss in Nashville on Sunday. It was the third straight loss (0-1-2) for the Capitals, who are one point out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but have played one more game than Columbus, the team holding that final spot.

“There aren’t enough games left to be too positive about only getting one point,” said Washington defenseman John Carlson. “It is a point, but it’s only going to make our road harder. I thought we were just a little bit lackadaisical here and there throughout the game.”

The Capitals play this one game at home and then hit the road for games against New Jersey, New York Islanders, St. Louis and Carolina.

Injuries: D Jack Hillen (upper body) is questionable. F Brooks Laich (groin), and F Aaron Volpatti (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars won the first meeting, defeating Washington in Dallas, 2-1, on Oct. 5

*The Stars have won four straight games against Washington and are 4-0-1 in their last five games against the Capitals.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-1-0 in their last five games.

*The Capitals are 1-1-3 in their last five.

*Washington is the top power play team in the NHL at 24.2 percent and has scored 18 power play goals over their last 16 games.

*The Stars are 3-10 (30.0 percent) on the power play over the last four games and 7-11 (63.6 percent) on the penalty kill over the last four games.

*The Stars are 11-14-2 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Washington is 12-8-5 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Stars are 0-6-1 in their last seven road games vs. the East.

*Washington has lost two straight at home, but is 5-2-2 over the last nine at home.

*Washington forward Alexander Ovechkin leads the NHL with 48 goals, but hasn’t scored an even strength goal in 15 games. He has seven power play goals during that 15-game stretch.

*Stars center Tyler Seguin ranks fifth in the NHL with 76 points (32 goals, 44 assists). His 32 goals rank ninth.

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 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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