Dallas Stars @ Pittsburgh Penguins
At the time of this writing, and according to NHL betting odds, there was no money line or total posted in this game due to the uncertain status of key players on both sides. Pittsburgh has defeated Dallas in their last 5 meetings at home, and 4 of those 5 went under the total. The teams have met once this season, and Dallas came away with a 3-0 home win. Pittsburgh is currently 1st in the Metropolitan Division, and is 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference. Dallas is currently 5th in the Central Division, and is tied for 8th in the Western Conference with Phoenix.
Ravaged by Injuries
The Penguins injury list includes some key personnel and has become a cause for concern. They’ve been without high scoring forwards James Neal (concussion) and Chris Kunitz (leg) in recent games. Both players are listed as questionable for this evening. They are also without two very good defensemen in Paul Martin (broken hand) and Kris Letang (suffered a stroke). Martin looks like he will be out for a minimum 4 more weeks, while the shocking stroke suffered by Letang can possibly be career threatening. That’s not to mention Pascal Dupuis who was lost for the season in early December to a knee injury. The good news is they lead the Flyers in the Metropolitan Division by 15-points with just 15-games left to play for both clubs, and although they trail the Bruins by just 5-points for the Conference lead, they do have 1-game in hand. This will be the Penguins 3rd game in the last 4-days. They’re coming off a pair of losses over the weekend at the hands of the Flyers.
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Stars Fighting for their Playoff Lives
Dallas comes off a couple of disappointing losses in their previous 2-games. They were able to earn 1-point in a 4-3 overtime loss at home versus Calgary on Friday, and then were hammered 7-2 at Winnipeg on Sunday. Newly acquired 39-year old veteran Tim Thomas started in net on Sunday and was pulled from the game after allowing 4-goals on just 17 shots. A real concern for the Stars is when #1 goaltender Kari Lehtonen will be able to return to the lineup. Lehtonen suffered a concussion versus Minnesota on March 8th, and is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s game. The Stars have earned at least 1-point in 35 of Lehtonen’s 51 starts. Dallas is deadlocked with Phoenix Coyotes for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Dallas does have 1-game in hand on Phoenix heading into tonight. After tonight the Stars will have 6 remaining games at home and 8 on the road that will culminate the regular season. They will face Coyotes one more time, and it comes on the final day of the regular season at Phoenix.