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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 25th (All times Eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (36-13-2) at Dallas Stars (23-20-8), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Hoping to win three straight for the first time in over two months, the Dallas Stars will try to reverse a recent losing trend against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins as the two clubs meet on Saturday night.

The Stars are looking to dig themselves out of a recent hole thanks to a 1-8-1 stretch that began January. They are beginning to do so thanks to back-to-back wins -- their first winning streak since consecutive victories on Dec. 23 and 27 -- blanking Minnesota 4-0 to begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday before following up with a 7-1 rout of Toronto two nights later.

Valeri Nichushkin scored twice, including once during a four-goal second period that also saw Shawn Horcoff, Rich Peverley and Trevor Daley light the lamp, while Jamie Benn added his 100th career goal to three assists.

Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves to record his 200th career victory and Cody Eakin scored before leaving the game early in the third period after taking a hit to the head from the Maple Leafs' Colton Orr.

"I think tonight we kept building, we kept trying to score, and that's what you got to do to win," said Peverley. "You can't sit back and I think we did a good job of pushing forward and trying to get that next goal."

Playing in his second game after missing two in a row due to feeling fatigued, Nichushkin, the 10th overall pick of the 2013 draft, posted his first career multi-goal game to help the Stars post their largest margin of victory this season.

Dallas will now try to win three in a row for the first time since Nov. 13-17, but will need to best Pittsburgh for just the third time in the last 11 meetings to do so.

The Penguins have won two straight over the Stars and three of the past four played in Dallas, two of those in a shootout.

Pittsburgh is also likely to start Marc-Andre Fleury in this game and the netminder has never lost to Dallas, winning all six meetings with a 1.95 goals against average.

Lehtonen is 7-4-3 with a 2.79 GAA in his career versus the Pens.

Pittsburgh posted a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday, with backup Jeff Zatkoff making 30 saves.

"Not the prettiest game for your numbers, but it's a hard fought game," Zatkoff said. "That's the kind of game you're going to be in versus the Isles."

Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz both had a goal and two assists, while Evgeni Malkin, Olli Maatta, Kris Letang and Brandon Sutter also scored as the Pens moved to 7-1-1 in their last nine and 16-3-1 in their previous 20.

Crosby has four goals and seven points in four previous meetings with the Stars and enters play tonight leading the NHL with 72 points while ranking second with 45 assists.

Pens forward James Neal, a second-round pick by the Stars in 2005, has two goals in two games versus his former club.

A 20-goal scorer in all three of his seasons in Dallas, Neal was dealt to Pittsburgh on Feb. 21, 2011 along with defenseman Matt Niskanen for blueliner Alex Goligoski.

01/25 10:24:42 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
 
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
 
3rd
GSW 70
BOS 60
 
3rd
DEN 71
WAS 65
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
HOU
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
 
2nd
MD 57
NW 63
 
Half
UTAH 37
WASH 30
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
2nd
CARTER 20
IRVIN 19