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Stars smother Pens; host Coyotes tonight

Wanted a win that could make you think the Stars are capable of being a playoff team and being competitive this season? Well then you should have watched the Stars game on Wednesday night. The Dallas Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins very convincingly at home 5-2. The Stars came out and got a 2-0 lead in the first and never looked back. They got into the game early and dominated the play until they were up 4-1 to end the 2nd, and then both seems just coasted for the third period. It was a game that featured the Stars getting goals at even strength again, and although the powerplay is still not showing anything, the Stars penalty kill was perfect and is continuing to look a lot better.

The game featured 4 fights and many more penalties, did their part on the defensive end and went 4-4 in the game. That included a big 5-on-3 kill in the first when the game was still 2-0 to keep Dallas up and keep the momentum with them. The Stars PK has now killed off 15 of their last 17 and might really be coming together as a unit. Kari Lehtonen was great again in net, making 21 of 23 saves and making a few nice saves. He was not relied upon heavily and did his part. Another big game too for Loui Eriksson, as he finished the night with two goals and an assist. He scored a pretty goal on a shootout attempt he was awarded in the 2nd, and just keeps stacking up points. The top line has just been sick when the game is at 5-on-5 play.

Tonight the Stars hos the rival Phoenix Coyotes tonight at the AAC. The Coyotes come in with a 4-4-3 record for the first matchup of the season between the two divisional foes. Tonight could be a goaltending game, as the Stars face Ilya Bryzgalov and put out Lehtonen in their own net. But also the Stars have had 4 or more goals in seven of their eleven games this season, and the Coyotes have allowed at least one powerplay goal against in five of their last 6 games. So tonight could be a night for the Stars to continue winning and try and get the PP on track. The Coyotes had an impressive season last year and surprised many, but because of their own continuing ownership issues they were unable to resign a couple of key guys. They could still be a playoff team this year, or they could slump down, especially if Dallas keeps playing the way they do. But the Stars were 2-3-1 last year against Phoenix, so the Coyotes can beat Dallas and Bryzgalov always seems to give the Stars fits.

The puck drops at 7:30pm central time, and it should be a good one to watch on a Friday night. Also, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington is going to drop the first puck tonight. So should be cool to see and the media has been having fun with it all day.\

On another note, the Stars signed first round pick Jack Campbell to an entry-level deal. Campbell was selected with the 11th overall pick this summer in the draft, and looks to have a promising future in front of him. He could be the franchise goalie of the future for the team, but at 18 years-old he is probably 3 years away from seeing any serious NHL action. He is currently playing with Windsor of the OHL, but has lead the USA developmental team to three gold finishes in the three tournaments he has played in. Kari is playing amazing now, but down the road you never know what could happen and true no.1 goalies are always harder to find and are extremely valuable.

Tags: Dallas Stars Ilya Bryzgalov Jack Campbell Kari Lehtonen Loui Eriksson Pittsburgh Penguins Ron Washington

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