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Penguins vs. Stars Scouting Report

Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 8:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Stars Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 4-2-1-9
Road: 4-1-2-10

WHEN: Nov. 11, 2011 - 7:00 pm   |   WHERE: CONSOL Eenrgy Center
ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
Dallas Stars
Home: 6-1-0-12

  Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Dallas Stars 






Loui Eriksson
LW  -  #21
  8 Goals
  8 Assists
  16 Points
• NHL’s ‘Second Star’ for the week ending Nov. 6 is currently enjoying a five-game point streak that’s seen him tally three goals, eight assists and 11 points over that span.

• The 26-year-old Swede posted new career highs in assists (46) and points (73) in 2010-11 while pacing the squad in game-winning goals (6) and power-play goals (10).

• Was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy last season after being the only player in the top 200 of NHL scoring to register fewer than 10 penalty minutes.
Jamie Benn
LW  -  #14
  5 Goals
  13 Assists
  18 Points
• Was one of just three NHLers to score a goal in six consecutive games in 2010-11, his sophomore season – finishing the year with 22 tallies – and also embarking on a 10-game point streak (8G-6A-14P) from March 1-19.

• Became just the second Dallas Stars rookie (and 10th in franchise history) to score over 20 goals in 2009-10, finishing with 22 goals on the season.

•  The 22-year-old was the Stars’ fifth-round pick (129th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Kari Lehtonen
G  -  #32
  11 wins
  2.13 GAA
.936 svpt
• In his second full season (and eighth NHL campaign) with Dallas, who acquired him from Atlanta on Feb. 4, 2010 after a pair of injury-plagued seasons.

• Played a personal-best 69 contests in 2010-11 and tied his career-high with 34 wins, while ranking fourth among NHL goaltenders in games played, minutes (4,119), saves (1,868) and shots against (2,043).

Became the highest-drafted European goaltender and the highest Finnish player ever selected in NHL history when the Thrashers picked him second overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
The Stars saw their 2010-11 campaign end in an incredibly disappointing fashion by losing to Minnesota on the last day of the season when a win would have put them in the playoffs. Instead, they were left just two points from eighth place and stuck on the outside looking in for a third-straight season.

They’ve responded to that adversity by getting their 2011-12 campaign off to a fantastic start. The scorching Stars are playing confident yet simple hockey where every player is buying into the system and performing the right way, and the result has been an NHL-best 11-3-0 record and 22 points. They enter Friday’s game riding a four-game win streak that’s seen them topple New Jersey, Colorado, Carolina and Washington.

It certainly helps that Finnish goaltender Kari Lehtonen has been virtually unstoppable, as he’s backstopped the Stars to all 11 of their victories and has been between the pipes for just one of their three losses. He's back at his best after two injury-plagued seasons from 2008-10, being named the NHL's 'Second Star of the Month' for October for his efforts. The big netminder (6-foot-4, 217 pounds) with excellent quickness, agility and puck-handling ability s currently undefeated on the road, going 5-0-0 for the first time in his career.

While Lehtonen has been keeping pucks out of his net, his forwards have been putting them in their opponents’. Dallas currently boasts the league’s third-ranked offense despite the offseason departure of perennial producer Brad Richards, led by the dynamic duo of left winger Loui Eriksson and center Jamie Benn. Both forwards enter Friday’s game riding respectable point streaks, with Eriksson tallying nine points (3G-6A) in a five-game stretch and Benn recording 11 points (3G-8A) in a six-game span. They make up the Stars’ top line along with Michael Ryder, who scored twice in Dallas’ last game (a 5-2 victory over the Capitals on Tuesday). Veterans Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribiero have also been providing plenty of contributions as well.

While the Stars’ forwards have been doing a fine job producing offense, the Dallas blueliners have also been chipping in as well – especially veteran Sheldon Souray. The physically imposing blueliner, who’s been revitalized within the Stars organization after spending all of last season in the minors, has points in each of his last four games (2G-5A) and a total of four goals on the season. Dallas’ defensemen have been especially dangerous on the power play, scoring five of the team’s last seven man-advantage goals.
  • Dallas (22 points) and Pittsburgh (21 points) enter tonight’s game with the most points in the NHL.
  • Prior to Dallas’ 5-2 win on Nov. 3 of last season, the Penguins had won five straight games against the Stars dating back to a 4-0 win on March 9, 2004 at Mellon Arena.
  • Pittsburgh has won four straight home games against the Stars since a 3-2 win on Oct. 24, 2001.
  • Friday will mark Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski's first game back in Pittsburgh since being traded to Dallas on Feb. 21 in exchange for James Neal and Matt Niskanen.
  • Goligoski was Pittsburgh’s second-round draft pick (61st overall) in 2004. Goligoski played part of three seasons with the Penguins between 2008-11, helping the team capture the 2009 Stanley Cup championship. He played 177 regular-season games for the Penguins, amassing 90 points (23G-67A). He added 10 points (2G-8A) in 15 playoff games.
  • The Penguins enter tonight’s game with a perfect 4-0-2 record against the Western Conference this season.
  • Dating back to a 2-1 overtime win against Los Angeles on Feb. 10 of last season, the Penguins are unbeaten in their last 12 games against Western Conference teams (8-0-4). Pittsburgh’s last regulation loss to a team from the West was a 4-1 setback against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 8, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center.
  • Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, unbeaten through his last six games (5-0-1), is 4-0-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average lifetime against Dallas. Meanwhile, Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 7-3-2 with a 2.13 goals-against average all-time against the Penguins – but has gone 0-3-1 with a 3.21 goals-against average in his four career games in Pittsburgh.
  • The Penguins and the Stars are tied for first with three shorthanded goals apiece.




2010-11 STAT CHART

F Sidney Crosby, concussion
F Tyler Kennedy, concussion
D Ben Lovejoy, broken wrist
D Zbynek Michalek, broken finger
F Jordan Staal, lower-body
D Brian Strait, hyper-extended elbow
Neal (9) Eriksson (8)
Letang (12) Benn (13)
Neal (14)
Benn (18)
Engelland (16) Souray (29)
Three with (4) Eriksson/Souray (11)
Neal (3) Souray (2)
Three with (1)
Three with (1)
Fleury (8-2-1)
Lehtonen (11-1-0)
Fleury (1.95) Lehtonen (2.13)
Fleury (.931) Lehtonen (.936)

F Steve Ott, lower-body





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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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