What's buzzing on Yahoo Sports:
32-25-11
1 -
Team 1 2 3
DAL 1 0 0
PIT 2 1 2
5
45-19-4

Stars-Penguins Preview

AP - Sports

Nothing good happened on the ice for the Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins over the weekend, with various breakdowns plaguing each team in a pair of losses.

After hearing who might be returning in the final 15 games, both should be feeling a bit better.

Kari Lehtonen could be back between the pipes as the Stars continue a road-heavy stretch Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins hope to have at least one of their star wingers back on the ice.

Lehtonen has missed Dallas' past three games with a concussion, and the Stars (32-24-11) missed him greatly in the past two. They blew a 3-1 lead in the third period in Friday's 4-3 shootout loss to Calgary, then allowed the final six goals in a 7-2 defeat at Winnipeg on Sunday.

Dallas is in a tight battle with Phoenix for the Western Conference's final wild-card spot.

"We're not playing the right way," captain Jamie Benn told the league's official website after Sunday's loss. "These games are hard to win late in the (season). We just got outworked.

"We probably don't want to watch too much video of this game, because it's mostly bad, I'm sure. We've got 15 games left. We can't be worried about this one. We're still in a good spot. We've got to move on and get ready for (Pittsburgh)."

The game in Winnipeg was the first of a stretch where the Stars will play nine of 12 on the road, and Lehtonen is 1-4-2 with a 2.98 goals-against average in seven starts outside of Dallas in 2014. He did, however, stop 24 shots in a 3-0 win when the Penguins (44-19-4) visited Dallas on Jan. 25.

The Stars got power-play goals from Benn and Sergei Gonchar while thwarting Pittsburgh's four opportunities with the man advantage, and special teams were a problem for the Penguins over the weekend as well. Pittsburgh went 0 for 9 on the power play while getting swept in a home-and-home series against Philadelphia, giving up a pair of short-handed goals and allowing the Flyers to convert three times with the extra attacker.

Though the Penguins have a 15-point lead in the Metropolitan Division, they've fallen behind Boston for the East's best record with a 4-4-2 stretch.

''The last two seasons, March has been too easy for us,'' defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ''We go through with just a breeze, and I think we go into the playoffs overconfident. Right now, we're in a little bit of a bump in the road and we're going to have to fight for it.''

That figures to be easier as soon as Chris Kunitz, James Neal, Beau Bennett and Kris Letang can return. Pittsburgh got the news Sunday that Letang was cleared to practice after suffering a stroke in late January, a surprising sign for a player many didn't think would return this season.

While there's no timetable on Letang's return, Kunitz (lower body), Neal (concussion) and Bennett (wrist) all practiced Monday. Kunitz, tied with Sidney Crosby for the team lead with 31 goals, is the most likely to play Tuesday.

Neal seemed optimistic he might be able to face his former team.

"As long as I'm good all day (Monday), (we'll) see what goes on (Tuesday)," Neal told the Penguins' official website. "If I feel good in the morning, there's no reason why I can't (play vs. Dallas)."

Neal scored twice for Pittsburgh in the Stars' last visit, a 3-1 win Nov. 11, 2011.

Crosby missed that meeting but has four goals in two career home games against Dallas.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (3)

Recommended for You

  • GIF: Cameron doesn't understand why the ref won't count this pinfall

    GIF: Cameron doesn't understand why the ref won't count this pinfall If you thought Cameron blowing Stone Cold Steve Austin's mind on the reboot of Tough Enough would produce the best GIF related to her in pro wrestling, you would be wrong. That

    SB Nation
  • Colts Coaches Cost the Team a Win

    The Colts coaching staff cost the Colts a win tonight. Chuck, you can talk all you want about how that's a game you just needed to win.  You can talk all you want about how your team needs to be better.  You can talk all you want about how your team didn't play a 60-minute ballgame.  You can talk…

    SB Nation
  • Broncos fans start petition to ban CBS' Phil Simms from Broncos broadcasts

    Broncos fans start petition to ban CBS' Phil Simms from Broncos broadcasts It's gotten that bad. Denver Broncos fans have dealt with the perceived bias of CBS analyst Phil Simms for years. I've always tolerated it - fans often claim an analyst or

    SB Nation
  • French Tennis Player Hits A Ridiculous Between-The-Legs Shot During Davis Cup Match

    Gael Monfils has a well-earned reputation as one of the most exciting players in tennis today and he unleashed yet another jaw-dropping shot during France's Davis Cup win over the Czech Republic. France had already clinched their semifinals match-up when Monfils took the court to face Lukas Rosol.

    Business Insider
  • Mario Chalmers offers words of wisdom for LeBron James' new supporting cast

    It's not surprising to hear Mario Chalmers tell Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick, "We all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals," since the San Antonio Spurs undressed everyone not named LeBron James and Chris Bosh in their five-game dismantling of the Miami Heat this past June. Only…

    Ball Don't Lie
  • Adrian Peterson Releases Statement

    Adrian Peterson Releases Statement Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson has released a statement about his recent indictment. Here is that statement, in its entirety, courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. My attorney has asked me

    SB Nation
  • Ump Joe West grabs Papelbon's jersey after ejecting Pap for grabbing self

    Did closer Jonathan Papelbon grab himself in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon in order make an obscene gesture toward booing Philadelphia Phillies fans, or was he merely adjusting his jockstrap and/or protective cup, as ballplayers do, because his equipment had gotten out of alignment? Is Major…

    Big League Stew
  • Cheryl Burke's 'Dancing With the Stars' Days, by the Numbers

    It's the end of an era on Dancing With the Stars. Longtime pro dancer Cheryl Burke announced Monday on Good Morning America that the current 19th season will likely be her final foray into the DWTS ballroom. "As of now, this is probably going to be my last season," Burke told GMA ahead of her new…

    Yahoo TV
  • Peyton Manning, insanely competitive, chews out Julius Thomas

    The stories of Peyton Manning's preparation for each and every game are legendary, and so too are the expectations he has for his receivers. It's no surprise, then, that even one of the NFL's leading scorers, Julius Thomas, might find himself on the business end of a Manning critique: Sure, the…

    Shutdown Corner
  • Floyd Mayweather opens door to Manny Pacquiao fight on Saturday night, slams it shut on Sunday morning

    Undefeated boxing sensation Floyd Mayweather Jr. promised combat sports fans "a big surprise" in 2015, to follow his unanimous decision win over Marcos Maidana last Sat. night (Sept. 13, 2014) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first thought was a potential "super fight"…

    SB Nation
  • Worst play of the year? The Raiders give us a strong contender

    It's only Week 2, but we've got ourselves a strong contender for worst play of the year. Already getting walloped by the Texans, the Raiders appeared to have some good fortune turn their way when James Jones caught a pass with nothing but open field ahead of him. Alas, this is Oakland, where…

    Shutdown Corner
    Sun, Sep 14
    Houston30 - 14Oakland
    Game Recap
  • View

    NFL cheerleaders - Week 2 (44 photos)

    NFL cheerleaders - Week 2Catch the best photos of the league's most spirited sideline supporters. Sep 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; The San Diego Charger girls cheerleaders perform during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Qualcomm Stadium

    Yahoo Sports
  • Latest UFC rankings update: Andrei Arlovski cracks Heavyweight Top 10 after Bigfoot Silva knockout

    Latest UFC rankings update: Andrei Arlovski cracks Heavyweight Top 10 after Bigfoot Silva knockout Meanwhile, Bigfoot continues his slide, but isn't out of top-ranked conversation ... yet. For the second straight week, the Ultimate Fighting Championship

    SB Nation
  • Emotion raw for Bears’ Charles Tillman in possible career-ending injury

    Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman considered retiring this offseason but ultimately returned to the only professional team he has known on a one-year, $3.25 million deal that was believed to be his swan-song contract in the NFL. Now Tillman, who appeared to be in severe pain after he shoved…

    Shutdown Corner
    Sun, Sep 14
    Chicago28 - 20San Francisco
    Game Recap
  • NFL admits error on 51-yard TD run by Seahawks’ Percy Harvin

    The NFL has acknowledged that bad luck. The league issued a statement that Seahawks’ Percy Harvin should not have been granted a touchdown on a 51-yard run in the first quarter, seeing as how Harvin rather clearly stepped out of bounds.

    Shutdown Corner
    Sun, Sep 14
    Seattle21 - 30San Diego
    Game Recap
  • Norwich Information Security MS

    Online, accredited, top ranked. NSA Center of Academic Excellence. Recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Download your free brochure!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • Rumor Roundup (Sept. 16, 2014): Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena, Night of Champions plans, more!

    Speculating on the rumors surrounding pro wrestling is a favored pastime of many fans, perhaps second only to actually watching the matches. In this daily column, we take a look at the latest rumors being churned out by the pro wrestling rumor mill. None of this has been confirmed as legitimate…

    SB Nation