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Thursday, February 27th (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (26-23-9) at Dallas Stars (27-21-10), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jamie Benn has been one of the leaders for the Dallas Stars this season and he kept that mentality going on the ice during the Sochi Olympics.

Benn has a gold medal to show for his efforts and now looks to get the Stars into the playoffs, a push that begins on Thursday night versus the Carolina Hurricanes.

The captain of the Stars is second on the club with 22 goals, 29 assists and 51 points, behind only Tyler Seguin (24 goals, 32 assists) in all three categories. Benn also got to show his stuff for Team Canada and scored a pair of game-winning goals in the tournament, including the lone tally against the U.S. in a 1-0 win during the semifinals.

Benn should have plenty of mojo as the Stars open up their post-Olympic schedule one point behind Vancouver for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

"I came back (from the Olympics) with confidence. I want to definitely keep it rolling the last 24 games here with the Stars and be the leader here. I want to be the go-to guy and hopefully lead our team into the playoffs," noted Benn.

Dallas is certainly trending in the right direction, having gone 3-0-1 in its last four games before the break and 6-1-2 in its past nine overall.

The Stars will play three straight and six of their next seven at home and are likely to give the start tonight in net to Kari Lehtonen, who won a bronze medal with Team Finland in Sochi. Lehtonen is 6-11-1 with a 3.39 goals against average in his career versus Carolina.

The Hurricanes will play their second game following the Olympic hiatus as they visited the Buffalo Sabres in the lone game on the schedule Tuesday. The two clubs returned to action early to make up a postponed game from Jan. 7.

Carolina got goals from Eric Staal and Alexander Semin, but Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff scored with 43.4 seconds left in regulation to hand the Hurricanes a 3-2 loss.

Cam Ward gave up all three goals on 18 shots in his first NHL action since Dec. 31 as Carolina opened a five-game road trip with its fourth loss in six games.

"This is a tough pill to swallow right now, for everybody," said Staal. "We definitely had the better chances throughout the game, but they capitalized on their chances."

Ward was returning to action from a lower-body injury and it is unknown if he will start again tonight or if the streaking Anton Khudobin will get the call. Khudobin went 10-4-0 with a 2.19 GAA in 14 games in January and has logged a 2.01 GAA in three games this month.

Khudobin has never faced the Stars, while Ward is 2-3-1 with a 3.48 GAA against them.

The Hurricanes, who are five points back of third place in the Metropolitan Division, are playing the Stars for the first time since a 5-2 home loss on Nov. 6, 2011.

Dallas has won three straight and eight of the last 10 meetings overall, going 9-0-0 with a tie in the past 10 encounters at home.

The Stars have not lost as the hosting club in this series since a setback to the Hartford Whalers on Feb. 11, 1996.

02/27 10:45:42 ET

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Hurricanes

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Friday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
1st
ND 7
DUKE 8
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
2nd
PHI 34
DET 20
 
2nd
CLE 31
POR 25
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
8:00pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DEN
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
OKC
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
WAS
1st
VERM 17
GTDNS 23
 
1st
NAVY 24
AMER 29
 
1st
UMBC 13
BING 23
 
1st
JMU 32
DEL 34
 
1st
RICH 40
DUQ 19
 
1st
UNCW 29
ELON 14
 
1st
USB 18
HART 26
 
1st
WMARY 44
HOF 26
 
1st
COL 27
LAF 23
 
1st
PSU 33
MINN 20
 
1st
MAINE 8
UNH 21
 
1st
DREX 14
NE 23
 
1st
FORD 27
RIU 22
 
1st
SFLA 22
SMU 23
 
1st
MARQ 25
SHU 30
 
1st
LSU 25
SCAR 23
 
1st
UCF 18
TEMPL 30
 
1st
LONG 17
UNCA 27
 
1st
FSU 14
WAKE 21
 
1st
CCAR 27
WINT 27
 
1st
OU 21
WRST 31
 
1st
ND 7
DUKE 8
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND 0
HC 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
CSOU
RAD
 
1st
OKLA 0
TTU 2
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
DRAK
 
8:00pm Tonight
BUCK
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
WICHS
LOYC
8:00pm Tonight
ILLST
MIZST
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
ORST
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
RICE
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NIOWA
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
9:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
GT
9:00pm Tonight
PURD
IND
9:00pm Tonight
TCU
KU
9:00pm Tonight
BC
LOU
9:00pm Tonight
MISS
MSST
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
STJ
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
STAN
7:30pm Tonight
NJD
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
PIT
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CHI