Stars-Hurricanes Preview

Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 9:51 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Hurricanes Preview
Previewing Thursday night\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes.

Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes
Thursday, April 3
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (37-27-11) won their third straight game, defeating the Washington Capitals 5-0 Tuesday night at Verizon Center. Kari Lehtonen stopped 35 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Dustin Jeffrey led the offensive attack with two goals.

“It’s fun playing when there’s a lot on the line and every game is so huge,” said Lehtonen. “We just have to keep taking this one game at a time and try to win the next one.”

The win, the fifth in the last six games for the Stars, pushed them into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Thursday’s game is the third in a stretch of five straight on the road for the Stars, who have won the first two. It also kicks off a stretch of five games over the next seven days.

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

About the Hurricanes

The Hurricanes (33-32-11) are coming off a 4-1 win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Carolina fell behind midway through the first, but scored five minutes later to tie and outscored Pittsburgh 3-0 over the final two periods.

"That first period, they came out quick," Carolina forward Jordan Staal said. "They tried to take us out of the game right away and they made some great plays to get opportunities. [Anton Khudobin] was there to make some big saves, and I thought we got our legs and got our game under us and started taking away their time and frustrating them and creating chances of our own."

The Hurricanes are six points out of the final playoff spot in the East with just six games left on their schedule.

Thursday’s game kicks off a two-game homestand for Carolina.

Injuries: Andrei Loktionov (lower body) and D Jiri Tlusty (upper body) are questionable. D Joni Pitkanen (heel) is out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars won the previous meeting, 4-1, in Dallas on February 27.

*The Stars have won four straight games against Carolina.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have won three straight games, outscoring the opposition 16-5.

*The Stars are 5-1-0 over their last six games, outscoring their opposition 23-11 during that stretch.

*The Hurricanes have points in their last four games (2-0-2) and are 4-2-2 over the last eight.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 8-0 during five-on-five play over the last two games.

*Carolina is 7-26 (26.9 percent) on the power play over the last eight games.

*Carolina is 19-20 (95.0 percent) on the penalty kill over the last eight games.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 5-1-0 with a 1.67 goals against average and .950 save percentage over his last six starts.

*Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has four goals in the last four games.

*Carolina forward Jeff Skinner has four goals in the last five games.

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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