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Tonight on NBCSN: Penguins look to roll on against streaking Stars

Feb 29, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Marc-Andre Fleury, Vernon Fiddler Getty Images

It’s fun when you get two teams that are on a tear to meet up and that’s just what’s going on in Dallas tonight when the Stars take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

The Stars are on a roll having won four in a row and they’re back in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. With 70 points they’re sitting eighth in the West, just five points back of the Pacific Division leading Coyotes. Loui Eriksson continues to be the guy leading the way. He just cracked the 20-goal barrier for the fourth straight season and is coming off a game where he scored the overtime winner against Vancouver. He’s not too bad.

Making it all stand up is Kari Lehtonen who’s playing some inspired hockey of late in goal. In his last three starts, Lehtonen has given up just three goals and has a shutout while going 3-0-0 in that span. With Eriksson leading the way up front and Lehtonen holding it down in goal the way he is, it’s no wonder the Stars are playing as well as they are. Jamie Benn‘s return to action will help make Eriksson’s life a little easier as well.

Of course, they’re running headlong into a Penguins team that’s getting a MVP-like season out of Evgeni Malkin as well as a monster year out of former Stars forward James Neal.

After acquiring Neal (and Matt Niskanen) from Dallas for Alex Goligoski, Neal had his struggles adjusting. Now that he’s got Malkin for a linemate, the two are running roughshod over opponents combining for 67 goals and 139 points. While Sidney Crosby is still not ready to come back, Neal and Malkin are making it work out just fine in the meantime.

Seeing Marc-Andre Fleury play strong in goal helps to keep the wolves at bay as well. Fleury’s had a strong season for Pittsburgh and while Penguins fans could easily get lost in not having Crosby and going through the motions with all sorts of injuries, Fleury has been a rock. He’ll need to be at his best to handle the plucky Stars who never seem to go away.

  1. fleurysteeth - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Another 2 points for the Franchise. Can’t Stop…Won’t Stop…Eh Eh, Eh Eh!

    • fleurysteeth - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:51 AM

  2. letangusespertplus - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Looks like GM Ray Shero got the better end of that deal. The Franchse wins again.

  3. miketoasty - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Prohockeytalk, if you have a soul you will ban the guy above me and his other, probably 20, accounts that he has.

  4. govtminion2 - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Pucker up rangers, The Franchise wants that 1 seed in the east. Can’t wait til we add Soupcan to this already awesome line up. Pens are America’s Team

  5. sjm1717 - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    I’m a penguins fan but this poster annoys me so much. Who calls the pens “the franchise?” it appears that this clown has several names that he trolls with. Do everyone a favor and shut up.

  6. genosmalkinmehorny - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    the franchise is on another tear towards the lemieux cup again. soon it will be ours franchise followers!!!! rangers will lose first round of the playoffs. write it down.

  7. genosmalkinmehorny - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    do us a favor and shut up. the franchise has spoken

  8. sportsfreak13 - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Do the right thing PHT. Also people if you dont feed the troll he might just go away, but not before having a complete conversation with himself under all his screen names.

    • govtminion - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      Which in and of itself is actually kind of amusing in a sad sort of way. I wish I had nothing better to do with my day than troll a hockey website.

      But yeah, enough is enough- I don’t know what it takes to get banned around here, but you’d think a couple of weeks of this crap would be more than enough.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        i was hoping he would go away but its apparent like he needs a job or an intervention

    • fleurysteeth - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:29 AM

  9. hockeyfan1701 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    A wise person once told me, “It is hard to keep all of the bad children out of the playground”. Hopefully this child will eventually be kicked out of the forums. Until then just ignore the child.

  10. govtminion2 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    We in the govtminion clan love and support the Soupcan Army, and all it’s members. Please do not ban them

  11. genosmalkinmehorny - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    govtmule, obviously you don’t have anything better to do than commenting on this site all day long. you sir need to get yourself a job and join the revolution of the franchise!

    • govtminion - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      …riiight. Hurry on to your social studies class, kid.

  12. genosmalkinmehorny - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    isn’t it unbelievable that the franchise has two players on their team who terroize the league on a constant basis hahaha I love it soup can army

    • jobotjones - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Neal makes 3 of late…

  13. letangusespertplus - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    They are just so upset because we have a smile like fluerys. Hair like mine. A captain that’s like a gazelle on skates and a Russian with the absolute biggest sour cream Pringles can of a hawg all on THE FRANCHISE.

  14. letangusespertplus - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM


  15. genosmalkinmehorny - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM


  16. govtminion2 - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Soupcan Army 4 life!!!

  17. Stiller43 - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Lol how can you NOT love this guy?!!

  18. lucicfan603 - Feb 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I hate penguins fans and the above tells why you and your franchise I would be ashamed to call myself a fan of a cowardly team like the pens

  19. genosmalkinmehorny - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    stiller43 your a hell of a guy. lucicfan I would b embarrased to b a fan of that no show bum. he is one of the bruins worst players. cmonnnn man!!! and ur right neal is the triple threat! we are so unbelievable I love it. soup can army for life boys!

  20. willsports - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Man Malkin is having such a good year. Great post. Check out

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