Bill Meltzer: Stars Gameday: 10/16/14 @ PIT


Looking for back-to-back victories on the road before returning home to the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars (1-1-1) are in Western Pennsylvania tonight to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0). Game time 6:00 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

This is the first of two meetings this season between the teams, and the lone game in Pittsburgh.

The clubs will rematch on March 19 in Dallas. The teams split their two games last season.

The Stars are coming off an impressive 4-2 win in Columbus on Tuesday night. The Stars’ top line, which had been held off the scoreboard by Chicago and Nashville in the first two games of the season, detonated against the Blue Jackets. Tyler Seguin scored a hat trick while Jamie Benn racked a goal and three assists.

Team captain Benn did not practice yesterday but is expected to be in the lineup tonight. However, second year forward Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip issue) remains out of the lineup for a second straight game. Veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar (ankle) is also on the shelf.

Colton Sceviour played a strong game in Columbus in the absence of Nichushkin. Earlier this week, Dallas recalled left winger Curtis McKenzie from the AHL’s Texas Stars. McKenzie might make his NHL debut tonight.

Kari Lehtonen, who started on opening night and on Tuesday, is expected to get his third start of the season tonight. For his career, the big Finn has posted a 2.76 GAA and .911 save percentage in 16 games against the Penguins, sporting a record of 8-5-3.

Despite Dallas’ upgraded firepower, the club has not really clicked yet on the power play. The Stars have gone 1-for-8 on the man advantage through their first three games. In the meantime, the Pens have yet to get their penalty killing in order, yielding five goals on 11 penalty killing opportunities to date.

Pretty much everything else has been firing on high octane for new Penguins’ coach Mike Johnston’s team thus far in their first two games. The club has racked up 11 goals in two matches and is coming off 5-2 win in Toronto on Saturday night.

In that game, Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby racked up a three-point night (one goal and two assists). Putting to rest any concerns people may have had about his health entering the season, Crosby has compiled three goals and six points in two games.

On the Pittsburgh injury front, Beau Bennett (wrist) and Derrick Pouliot (shoulder) are out of the lineup.

This post originally appeared on and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.

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