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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
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
3rd
DUKE 7
UNC 35
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
3rd
MIA 61
LAC 82
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
CHI
4th
WVU 10
KST 23
 
3rd
DUKE 7
UNC 35
 
1st
TXST 0
ARKST 0
 
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
 
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
 
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
Final
MD 66
FORD 50
 
Final
WVU 91
GMAS 65
 
Final
RAD 61
HOW 52
 
Final
MURST 89
BRESCIA 56
 
2nd
VILL 59
BUCK 59
 
2nd
TENST 67
FISK 56
 
Final
HARV 71
FATL 49
 
2nd
MINN 109
FRANKPRCE 57
 
2nd
TULA 91
MVSU 54
 
2nd
TCU 78
NO 53
 
2nd
NW 69
UNF 67
 
2nd
LSUALEX 79
NWST 85
 
2nd
IND 63
SMU 61
 
2nd
UAB 53
SFLA 55
 
2nd
EILL 59
UCD 62
 
2nd
SAV 41
WINT 41
 
2nd
NIOWA 44
MRGST 41
 
2nd
MISS 37
SOUTH 15
 
2nd
SCAR 52
CORN 27
 
Half
VANDY 40
LIP 25
 
Half
ARST 28
LMU 22
 
Half
ALA 38
SMISS 30
 
1st
GRCN 29
TXARL 24
 
1st
NILL 14
IDAHO 11
 
1st
CAL 11
SYR 8
 
10:00pm Tonight
GAELS
DEN
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PACU
 
10:30pm Tonight
SDST
CALST
11:00pm Tonight
UCLA
NICST
 
2nd Intermission
PHI 1
MIN 1
 
3rd
OTT 3
NAS 2
 
3rd
MON 4
STL 1
 
3rd
TOR 4
TAM 1
 
2nd Intermission
WIN 3
DET 2
 
2nd
DAL 0
ARI 1
 
1st Intermission
CAL 2
CHI 2
 
1st Intermission
COL 0
WAS 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
FLA
Half
OAK 14
KAN 3