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Gameday Thread: Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals

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The Stars will try to keep pace in the race for the playoffs tonight when they start their final east coast road swing of the season.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The final month of the regular season starts tonight as the Dallas Stars try to put together a little winning streak when the take on the Washington Capitals.

Kari Lehtonen is the starter for Dallas tonight, and young defenseman Patrik Nemeth will make his NHL debut alongside veteran Sergei Gonchar. The forward lineup should look the same as it has the past several games, with Valeri Nichushkin on the first line alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and Dustin Jeffrey filling in on the fourth line.

The Caps lineup is not quite as solid with game-time decisions coming for defenseman Jack Hillen and forward Dustin Penner. Hillen suffered an injury two games ago after colliding with Alex Ovechkin while Penner is ill.

If Penner cannot play, the most likely replacement is Chris Brown, who was called up from the minors this morning. Brown, a native of Flower Mound, is the first North Texas native to play in the NHL and grew up playing in the Dallas-area youth leagues before honing his game in Michigan. He played five NHL games last year with the Phoenix Coyotes and has split 11 NHL games this season between Phoenix and Washington, but he has never played against the Stars.

Join us here with crossed fingers as the Stars try to stay out of the penalty box tonight, won't you?