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Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Dallas Stars (7:00pm CST)

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7:00pm CST tonight, not 7:30- Look sharp.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Signs of life were seen on social media yesterday after the Dallas Stars defeated the Washington Capital, somehow, and pulled to within five points of a Wild Card playoff spot in the NHL's Western Conference.

The St. Louis Blues' victory last night, similarly, over a team much better than them, somehow, puts it back to seven points, however- And the Blues have a game in hand.

So while there was twitching, it seems that 'dead' is still the prognosis that's got the best odds. Don't tell the Stars, though.

"Weirder things have happened" was the refrain from the locker room and the team had fun winning two games in front of their fathers, friends and mentors on a special two-game swing to Florida and the D.C.

Back to home cooking tonight, if only for a game. The Senators arrive on a hot streak, then Dallas enjoys a three-day break, followed by a four-game swing out West to see the Sharks, Oil, Canucks and Flames.

Talk at practice Tuesday was of Remi Elie, who won't likely be going back to Cedar Park anytime soon if the chatter is correct.

"For me, I just think we need the speed in the lineup," Ruff said of keeping him in. "I think the one thing that had been missing out of our lineup has been that ability to get in behind, hard to play against, and he's done a nice job in the two games that he's played. I really felt that after that first game, even with Cracknell being healthy, that he could help us win another game."

Without Antoine Roussel, Elie has filled a need and done it with a bit more of an offensive flair than does Roussel with regularity. Small sample size. Fun to watch, and one of the few remaining bright spots to keep an eye on down the stretch here.

While the Stars and Kari Lehtonen were getting pummeled 44-22 in the shot department, the Ottawa Senators were taking what they see as a big step toward confidence in the post-season.

Second in their division, they played a likely first round opponent in the Boston Bruins and bested them 4-2 while out-shooting them 29-27 Monday night.

"That was one of the toughest games we've played all year," Mike Hoffman, scorer of the game-winning power play goal said. "For the whole 60 minutes we had to be sharp, we had to be on our toes. I thought everyone played sharp."

The Sens have Montreal just four points ahead of them- Within reach, you might argue. And those Bruins are four points back. Plenty to play for, and that's shown recently as they've ripped off three straight and gone 9-4-0 over their last 13 games after a visit from the- surprise- Dallas Stars on February 9th kicked that streak off.

They're been pretty stingy of late, and they're getting offense on nights they don't score much- But one thing's not been good and it's something the Stars could speak a word or two about: Their penalty kill. It's killed 15 of the opposition's last 23 attempts. Math tells us that this is not good.

Dallas actually held the Sens off the power play score sheet in February, but surrendered a shorty. Also featured that game was the Hudler drop-goal-

If that's not motivation enough to right some wrongs this evening we don't know what is.

Their lines:

  • Burrows-Brassard-Stone
  • Dzingel-Turris-Smith
  • Hoffman-Pageau-Pyatt
  • Stalberg-Kelly-Wingels

——Claesson-Karlsson

  • Mehot-Ceci
  • Borowiecki-Wideman

You might have Methot it was Wingels instead of Dzingel, or Karlsson, not Claeeson.

From Stars PR:

THE SENATE IS OUT OF SESSION

The Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators meet on Wednesday for the second and final meeting of the 2016-17 regular season. Dallas comes into Wednesday's contest with wins in eight of the last 10 games against the Senators (8-2-0) and have points in nine of the last 11 games against them (8-2-1) dating back to the start of the 2008-09 campaign. The Stars have won four of the last five games (4-1-0) against the Senators at American Airlines Center. Last season in Dallas, the Senators notched a 7-4 victory on Nov. 24, 2015. Captain Jamie Benn tied a game-high with three points (2-1=3) and forward Patrick Sharp recorded a multi-point game (1-1=2). In the first meeting of the 2016-17 season against Ottawa, the Senators defeated the Stars, 3-2, on Feb. 9 at Canadian Tire Centre. Captain Jamie Benn (1-0=1) and forward Antoine Roussel (1-0=1) lit the lamp for the Stars, with forward Radek Faksa (0-1=1) and defenseman Esa Lindell (0-1=1) adding helpers.