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Stars Rally To Tie Penguins


The Dallas Stars have more points than any team in the NHL, so maybe that's why coach Ken Hitchcock doesn't mind collecting them one at a time.

Tony Hrkac scored against third-string goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin midway through the third period to give the Stars a 2-2 tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Considering his team was down 2-0 and appeared to be completely disorganized at the start, Hitchcock was happy with the strong finish and the tie. His team also tied in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

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  • "It could have started as a rout," Hitchcock said. "With where our lineup is right now and with the people who have out, getting points on the road is just great."

    The Stars are without forwards Brett Hull and Guy Carbonneau and defensemen Darryl Sydor and Richard Matvichuk. They lost defenseman Shawn Chambers to a hip flexor during the game.

    The Stars, who lead the NHL with 96 points, also have a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).

    Both teams remained undefeated in overtime. The Penguins are 6-0-10, Dallas 2-0-12.

    The Penguins also had reason to be happy, considering they got a point out of a game in which they had to use their last option in goal.

    Aubin replaced Peter Skudra at the start of the third period for his first appearance in an NHL game since Nov. 21.

    Skudra was hit on the leg by Jamie Langenbrunner's shot in the last two minutes of the first period. Skudra needed attention from the trainers but finished the first period and played the second, stopping 13 of 14 shots in his 40 minutes. The Penguins said he was held out of the third period as a precaution.

    Coach Kevin Constantine said it was not a serious injury. Skudra said he doubted he would play Wednesday night at Tampa Bay but thought he could dress as Aubin's backup.

    Skudra had started six consecutive games since Tom Barrasso broke a bone in his right wrist in a March 3 game against Montreal.

    Hrkac scored his 10th goal at 10:59. Grant Marshall dug out the puck and fed a pass to Hrkac in the slot. The Stars outshot Pittsburgh 13-2 in the final period and Pittsburgh didn't have a shot through the period's first 16 minutes. Dallas also had a 4-0 edge in overtime shots and had a 31-15 advantage in the game.

    "That was good for me," Aubin said. "I played well so it's good for my confidence."

    Jaromir Jagr And Martin Straka gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the game's first 8:48. Jagr scored his 33rd at 2:52, converting a backhand pass that Straka threw out from behind the net.

    Jagr drew defensive attention, which allowed Straka to get open ice and fire in Jiri Slegr's pass at 8:48. It was Straka's 35th goal and his 10th in the last nine games.

    Sergei Zubov scored for Dallas on a power play at 4:11 of the second. Zubov beat Skudra with a shot from the left point.

    Hitchcock used his timeout after Straka's goal.

    "We were just standing around watching them," Hitchcock said.

    The Stars allowed Pittsburgh five excellent scoring chances in the game's first nine minutes.

    Hull missed his 10th game with a hamstring injury and Sydor sat out his fourth with a knee sprain.

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