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Monday, November 7, 2011
Stars-Capitals Preview

By Mark Stepneski

Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals
Tuesday November 8
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Western Conference leading Stars (10-3-0) opened their four-game road trip with a 5-2 win at Carolina Sunday. The line of Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder combined for eight points (three goals, five assists) for the Stars, who have scored 12 goals in the last two games.

Tuesday’s game pits them against them against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“It’s going to be a tough game. They have a really good, skilled team,” said Eriksson. “They play with a lot of speed, so we have to be ready when the puck drops to play hard, outwork them and get the two points.”

Kari Lehtonen, who is 10-1-0 this season, will start in goal on Tuesday.

Injuries: LW Steve Ott (hip pointer) is out.

About the Capitals

The Capitals (9-3-0) are coming off a 5-3 road loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Capitals led 2-0 after the first period, but the Islanders tied the game in the second period and outscored the Caps 3-1 in the third.

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said the Stars will be a good test for his club.

“They’re playing really well. They’re getting great goaltending, when they need to shut teams down they shut teams down, when they have to score they’re scoring,” Boudreau told Washington media Monday. “They’ve got everything going and they are feeling quite good about themselves. I believe they’ll come in here loaded for bear and ready to go. For want of a better word, it’s going to be a great test.”

Injuries: D Mike Green is day-to-day. F Jay Beagle (concussion) and D Tom Poti (groin) are out.

Series notes

*This is the first and only meeting between the two teams this season.

*The Stars were 1-0-0 against the Capitals last season.

*The Capitals were 0-1-0 against the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 14-1-4 in their last 19 games against the Capitals.

*The Stars are 41-27-18 all-time against Washington.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have won four of their last five road games.

*Washington is 6-0-0 at home this season.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in four of the last five games and are 6-19 (31. 6%) during that stretch.

*The Capitals have scored on the power play in nine of 12 games this season and their PP ranks fourth in the league at 25.0 percent.

*The Stars have allowed a power play goal against in four of the last five games and are 21-27 (77.8%) on the PK during that stretch.

*Washington ranks 23rd in the NHL on the PK at 78.6 percent.

*Stars forward Jamie Benn is on a five-game points streak (2 goals, 6 assists).

*Stars forward Loui Eriksson is on a four-game points streak (3 goals, 5 assists).

*Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom is on a four-game points streak (3 goals, 5 assists).