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Tuesday, March 18th (All times Eastern)

Dallas Stars (32-24-11) at Pittsburgh Penguins (44-19-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - It was a rough weekend for both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars, though it had much more of an impact on the playoff race for the latter franchise.

The two clubs hope to rebound on Tuesday night when Dallas takes aim at its first victory in Pittsburgh in over 13 years.

The Stars have been held to just one point over their last two games after winning three in a row. They blew a two-goal lead on Friday to fall to the Calgary Flames in a shootout and were then routed 7-2 by the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

Dallas took a one-goal lead in the first period when Alex Chiasson and Tyler Seguin scored in a 37-second span, but Winnipeg exploded for the next six goals, chasing starter Tim Thomas from the game.

Thomas was lifted 29 seconds into the second period after giving up his fourth goal on 17 shots faced. Cristopher Nilstorp also faced 17 Winnipeg shots and allowed three goals.

Dallas is two points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild card position in the Western Conference.

"We're not playing the right way," Stars forward Jamie Benn said. "These games are hard to win late in the year. Teams are gearing up for the playoffs and teams that aren't in the playoffs have nothing to lose. Tonight we just got outworked start to finish."

The captain added that Dallas probably won't watch too much video of this loss.

"We've got 15 games left. We can't be worried about this one. We're still in a good spot. We hold our own fate here. We've got to move on and get ready for the next game."

Thomas made his third straight start since No. 1 Kari Lehtonen suffered a concussion, but Lehtonen appears close to a return seeing as the Stars reassigned Nilstorp to the minors on Monday.

It is unknown if Lehtonen, who has already returned to practice, will start tonight or if it will be Thomas. Lehtonen is 8-4-3 with a 2.61 goals against average in his career versus the Penguins, while Thomas is 8-7-4 with a 2.85 GAA in the matchup.

Lehtonen posted a 24-save shutout in a 3-0 home victory over the Penguins on Jan. 25, just the Stars' second victory in the previous nine meetings.

Pittsburgh, though, has outscored Dallas by a 20-7 margin over a five-game series home winning streak and the Stars have not won in the Steel City since Dec. 23, 2000.

The Penguins hold a 14-point edge over Philadelphia for first place in the Metropolitan Division, but were swept in a home-and-home set by the Flyers over the weekend. Pittsburgh was blanked 4-0 on the road Saturday, then lost 4-3 to Philadelphia the following afternoon.

Marc-Andre Fleury yielded all four goals on Saturday, then was pulled after giving up three goals on 15 shots through 14 minutes of work on Sunday. Jeff Zatkoff made 19 saves, but also yielded the game-deciding tally to take the loss.

Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen and Jayson Megna scored for the Penguins, while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were both held without a single point in both contests.

"We'll keep working. We'll keep trying to do the right things," Niskanen said. "Focus on details and our work ethic and keep plugging away here."

Pittsburgh had won three straight before the sweep and played without Chris Kunitz (lower body) and James Neal (concussion) over the weekend. Pittsburgh is also still without defensemen Paul Martin and Kris Letang as well as forward Pascal Dupuis.

"You gotta be prepared to do what you need to do on any given shift no matter who you play with," Megna said of the line changing due to injuries and call ups.

The Penguins did see Letang, Neal, Kunitz and forward Beau Bennett return to practice on Monday. Neal and Kunitz could both return as soon as tonight, while there is no return date for Letang or Bennett.

Letang has not played since suffering a stroke on Jan. 29, while Bennett has been out since sustaining a hand/wrist injury on Nov. 22 that required surgery.

Overall, the Penguins have lost 413 man games due to injury this season.

Fleury should get the start tonight for the Penguins and has solid career numbers versus the Stars, going 6-1-0 with a 2.10 GAA.

03/18 10:47:28 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
 
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
4th
BST 32
AKR 21
 
4th
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
4th
TOL 35
UMASS 35
 
4th
WMICH 42
OHIO 14
 
4th
COL 28
UCLA 31
 
4th
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
3rd
WAKE 0
BC 17
 
Half
BUF 7
CMICH 14
 
Half
MARS 14
FATL 16
 
Half
PITT 14
GT 28
 
Half
SMISS 7
LATU 3
 
Half
MSU 14
MICH 3
 
Half
KENT 10
MSST 17
 
Half
STAN 28
ORST 7
 
2nd
TCU 31
TTU 20
 
Half
OKST 10
WVU 14
 
2nd
WKENT 28
ODU 23
 
2nd
UTST 17
UNLV 7
 
2nd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 0
 
1st
UCF 7
TEMPL 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
2nd
SJS 0
BUF 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14