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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 1st (All times Eastern)

Dallas Stars (36-27-11) at Washington Capitals (34-28-13), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Dallas Stars have being playing well to keep pace in the Western Conference's wild card race, the Washington Capitals have to be less encouraged about their postseason chances.

The Stars look to win a third straight game on Tuesday night and deal the Capitals a fourth setback in a row.

Dallas has won four of its last five games and with 83 points sits one back of the Phoenix Coyotes for the West's second wild card position. The Stars, though, do have a game in hand and tonight can jump past the Coyotes, who host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Washington also is just one point back of a playoff spot as it trails the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. However, the Blue Jackets have a game in hand and host the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

The Stars are coming off a 4-2 victory over the West-leading St. Louis Blues as Colton Sceviour notched his first career two-goal game. Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel both scored and had an assist, while Jordie Benn and Shawn Horcoff chipped in with two assists each.

Kari Lehtonen made 33 saves as Dallas snapped a four-game road losing streak in the opener of a five-game swing.

"We're not in a must-win situation quite yet, but with the teams ahead of us winning games, we need to keep pace," Sceviour said. "We were playing a really good team in the second game of a back-to-back with travel and it's huge to come in here and get a victory. It feels real good right now.

While the Stars don't have a lot or room for error, Sceviour doesn't think his team is in desperation mode.

"That kind of sounds bad, but definitely we feel like these are games we need to win and we feel like we still hold our fate in our own hands. We've got a couple games in hand, but those games mean absolutely nothing unless we win them."

The Capitals have struggled winning games lately, but have managed a point in seven of their past eight contests. They are 4-1-3 in that span and have lost a pair of shootout decisions over their current three-game slide.

That includes Sunday's 4-3 setback to the Nashville Predators. Troy Brouwer scored twice in regulation for the Capitals to give him 23 goals on the season. That surpassed his previous career high of 22 set with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists, while Jaroslav Halak turned aside 26-of-29 shots for Washington.

"I thought we played better today than yesterday," Washington coach Adam Oates said, referring to Saturday's 4-2 loss to Boston. "There were moments where we didn't execute, but I thought that as we got into the game, we played better."

The Capitals have lost four straight and nine of their last 11 versus the Stars. Dallas picked up a 2-1 victory at home over Washington on Oct. 5 and has won four of its last five trips to D.C.

04/01 10:54:44 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
1st Intermission
CAR 2
TAM 1
 
3rd
IND 48
TOR 52
 
2nd
DET 35
CLE 42
 
2nd
MIA 35
MIL 42
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
WAS
2nd
AKR 44
BST 35
 
2nd
KSU 43
CMICH 30
 
2nd
VCU 45
GWU 29
 
2nd
TOL 53
UMO 46
 
2nd
MICH 45
NEB 35
 
2nd
BGU 35
NILL 29
 
2nd
EMICH 54
OHIO 26
 
2nd
VT 38
PITT 42
 
2nd
LAS 37
STJOE 39
 
2nd
TULA 30
TULSA 38
 
2nd
UGA 53
VANDY 40
 
2nd
KYST 32
WVU 28
 
2nd
BUF 53
WMICH 50
 
2nd
GEOR 28
XAV 40
 
1st
EVAN 16
INDST 15
 
1st
ORU 22
TABOR 10
 
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
BAY
9:00pm Tonight
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ALA
UF
9:00pm Tonight
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
TENN
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
UTST
WYO
9:05pm Tonight
SDST
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SDCHR
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
UNLV
11:00pm Tonight
BSU
COLST
2nd
PHI 1
ARI 2
 
2nd
NYI 2
NYR 0
 
2nd
CLB 2
WAS 0
 
2nd
PIT 1
WIN 2
 
1st Intermission
MON 2
DAL 1
 
1st Intermission
FLA 2
DET 1
 
1st Intermission
CAR 2
TAM 1
 
1st
NAS 0
COL 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
BUF
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA