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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 16 (All times Eastern)

Dallas Stars (1-1-1) at Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Seguin hopes to stay hot Thursday when his Dallas Stars visit the well-rested Pittsburgh Penguins for a battle at Consol Energy Center.

Seguin entered Tuesday's game in Columbus without a point through Dallas' first two games -- both losses -- before recording a hat trick to help the Stars post a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jackets.

Dallas was 0-1-1 heading into Columbus and was tied at 2-2 with the Blue Jackets after 40 minutes. However, Seguin's second goal of the game gave the Stars a 3-2 lead in the third period and he later sealed the win with an empty-net marker in the final second of regulation.

It was the fifth hat trick of Seguin's career. The 22-year-old had three hat tricks during his breakout season of 2013-14, including a four-goal game against Calgary on Nov. 14.

Jamie Benn added a marker and three assists for the Stars on Tuesday. Benn, who had a career-high 79 points last season, also entered Tuesday's game without a point on the season. Benn completed a Gordie Howe hat trick with a fight against Columbus' Nick Foligno.

"That was an awesome display," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "Both guys played well. Seguin had a heck of a game and Benner the same thing."

Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 shots in the win, which came in the middle test of a three-game road trip set to end tonight in the Steel City.

The Penguins have begun 2-0, and the club hasn't been in game action since posting a decisive 5-2 win Saturday in Toronto. Pittsburgh will try to use the extra rest to secure its second straight 3-0 start to a season on Thursday.

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby each notched a goal and two assists as Pittsburgh thumped the Maple Leafs on Saturday. Malkin is tied with Rick Kehoe for fourth place on the Pittsburgh's all-time scoring list and can claim sole possession of the spot with his next point.

Crosby, who is third leading scorer in team history, also posted two goals and a helper in last Thursday's season-opening win over Anaheim. The Penguins captain is the first Pittsburgh player to record three points in each of the first two games of a season since Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and Jaromir Jagr did it to start the 1995-96 campaign.

Crosby's linemate Patric Hornqvist also had a goal and an assist. Hornqvist, who came over from Nashville in the offseason trade that sent James Neal to the Predators, has two goals and two assists in two games with the Pens.

"You want to be sharp in every area but I think for the most part we have a good idea of what we need to do," said Crosby. "It will continue to evolve as we play more with each other."

Chris Kunitz and Brandon Sutter also lit the lamp for the Penguins, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots in the victory.

Pens head coach Mike Johnston has won both of his games behind the Pittsburgh bench, making him the sixth coach in club history to start his career with the club 2-0. If the Penguins win tonight, Johnston will join Herb Brooks (1999-2000) as the only Pittsburgh coach to begin 3-0 with the club.

So far, Pittsburgh has been both good and bad on special teams. The club has scored four times on nine power-play chances, but also has surrendered five goals while shorthanded.

The Penguins went 28-9-4 as the home team last season and are kicking off a three-game homestand tonight. Pittsburgh won its home opener over the Ducks by a 6-4 score.

The Stars have struggled against the Pens in recent years, losing three of four and eight of the last 10 encounters in this series. Dallas also has lost six straight in the Steel City with its last victory in Pittsburgh coming in an 8-2 route of the Penguins on Dec. 23, 2000.

Lehtonen is 8-5-3 with a 2.76 goals against average and .911 save percentage against the Penguins in his career. Fleury, meanwhile, has superb career numbers when facing the Stars, posting a 6-1-0 mark and a 2.09 GAA in seven outings versus Dallas.

10/16 10:41:59 ET