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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 5th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (1-1-0) at Dallas Stars (0-1-0), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals will try to win consecutive games when they visit the Dallas Stars for Saturday's battle at American Airlines Center.

The Capitals opened the season with a 6-4 setback in Chicago, but earned a 5-4 comeback victory in their first home game of the season on Thursday. Washington trailed the visiting Calgary Flames by three goals on two separate occasions in the home opener at Verizon Center, but Alex Ovechkin scored twice to help the Caps mount a successful comeback.

Washington fell behind 3-0 in the first period and Caps starting goaltender Braden Holtby was pulled after surrendering the first three goals on eight shots.

After cutting the deficit to 3-1 early in the second period, the Flames restored their three-goal edge with Lance Bouma's tally. However, Ovechkin scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the middle stanza and Nicklas Backstrom evened the game at 4-4 with 5:50 left in the third.

Ovechkin and Mikhail Grabovski were both successful in the shootout phase and Michal Neuvirth, who replaced Holtby, stopped two Calgary tries in the deciding phase.

"We talked about how we had 40 minutes to try to get it back," said Capitals coach Adam Oates. "We talked about a couple things we did wrong in the first period and not to give them another one. We wanted our (defense) to be more involved, but not do crazy pinches and give them a free goal -- just stay focused and get it one at a time."

Despite his rough outing on Thursday, Holtby is expected to get the start in net again tonight.

Following Saturday's game, the Caps will head back to D.C., where the club is scheduled to begin a five-game homestand in Thursday's test against Carolina.

The Stars opened their season at home on Thursday but were dealt a 4-2 setback by Tim Thomas and the Florida Panthers. Marcel Goc scored the winner with 4:55 to go and added an empty-netter for Florida, while Thomas turned aside 25 shots in the win.

Lindy Ruff made his debut with the Stars, but the former longtime Buffalo Sabres head coach didn't like what he saw in his first game behind the Dallas bench.

"I expect to see a lot more battle," said Ruff, who spent 16 years coaching Buffalo. "We went by too many battles tonight. We didn't stop on pucks. And I really feel we built our preseason over most of that, and we took some of those plays for granted tonight."

Brenden Dillon had a goal and an assist while Alex Chiasson also scored for the Stars, who missed the playoffs for a fifth straight year last season. Kari Lehtonen allowed three goals on 38 shots.

After beginning the season with two straight home tests, the Stars will head out on a three-game road trip. The trek begins Friday in Winnipeg, giving Dallas five days off in between games.

The Caps and Stars didn't face each other in the lockout-shortened season of 2013, but Dallas has claimed three straight in the series and is 8-1-1 in its last 10 matchups against Washington.

The Stars also have taken four of the past five encounters in Big D and the Caps are 2-8-1 in Dallas since last winning on the road in this series on Oct. 17, 1995.

Washington will not have defenseman Jack Hillen tonight after he was injured in Thursday's game. Hillen left the game in the first period after getting slammed into the boards by Calgary's Bouma.

10/05 10:48:38 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
WIN 3
CAR 1
Final
KAN 1
SFG 7
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
 
Final
MIA 90
HOU 85
Final
MIN 107
IND 89
Final
OKC 91
UTA 105
Final
DEN 75
POR 93
Final
LAL 108
PHO 114
Final
GSW 125
LAC 107
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
ATL
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
POR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
PHO
 
Final
LALAF 55
ARKST 40
Final
NJD 3
NYR 4
Final
BOS 5
SJS 3
Final
NYI 2
TOR 5
Final
MON 2
DET 1
Final
NAS 4
ARI 3
Final
WIN 3
CAR 1
Final
CHI 4
PHI 0
Final
DAL 6
VAN 3
Final
COL 3
FLA 4
Final
CAL 1
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
PIT
PHI
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
ANA
BUF