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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
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
1:05pm Today
PHI
DET
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
SDP
SEA
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CHI 111
NYK 80
Final
MIL 95
GSW 108
Final
UTA 94
OKC 89
4th
POR 120
DEN 114
 
12:30pm Today
WAS
HOU
 
3:30pm Today
BRK
LAL
 
4:00pm Today
NOP
MIN
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
 
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
Final
YALE 78
CAN 73
Final
KENT 68
ND 66
2:20pm Today
LOU
MSU
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
Final
MON 3
FLA 2
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
Final
TOR 4
OTT 3
Final
STL 2
CLB 4
Final
MIN 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 5
BUF 3
3rd
VAN 2
DAL 2
 
3:00pm Today
NYR
WAS
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
NAS
CAL
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
OTT
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
CHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
SJS