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Lehtonen to Start in Goal, Seguin and Benn on Top Line as Stars Take on Florida Tonight

Wednesday, 09.18.2013 / 12:23 PM / News
By Mark Stepneski
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Lehtonen to Start in Goal, Seguin and Benn on Top Line as Stars Take on Florida Tonight

The Dallas Stars will roll out a pretty strong lineup for tonight’s preseason tilt against the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center.

The top line will consist of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Erik Cole. Cody Eakin will center a line with Ray Whitney and Valeri Nichushkin, who scored two goals in Sunday’s preseason opener against St. Louis.

The defense will consist of Sergei Gonchar, Trevor Daley, Stephane Robidas, Brenden Dillon, Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak.

Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal and is expected to play the first half of the game. Cristopher Nilstorp is expected to play the second half.

“We went with a pretty young lineup on the back end in the first game and tonight we’re going to go a little bit older,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It will be a mix. Probably Friday we’ll go back to a younger lineup again in San Antonio (vs. Florida). Tonight, from the backend standpoint it’s pretty good. Up front there are some things we want to look at, so there are a couple of real good lines.”

This will be the second game for the line of Benn, Seguin and Cole.

“I like the plays they’ve made,” Ruff said. “I like the speed of that line, they can back the other team off. It’s got a physical side to it with Benn and Cole to it on the wings. It’s a line we want to take a look at.”

Power play work

At this morning’s skate in Frisco, the Stars spent time working on the power play, both five-on-four and five-on-three.

“Tomorrow’s focus will be on a lot of our special teams, a lot of focus on the penalty killing,” Ruff said. “It’s amazing that you think you have a lot of time in camp with those days in between, but we are going to play three games in four days, so there is only a little bit of time to work on those details of the game. Game morning we want to work on it and in between these games we want to work on these special teams.”

The Stars used four forwards on the power play in Sunday’s preseason game against St. Louis, and they continued to do so in Wednesday morning’s power play work. The four forwards on one power play unit were Benn, Seguin, Cole and Chiasson. The other unit had a forward group of Whitney, Eakin, Nichushkin and Brett Ritchie.

“I like the makeup, I like the fact that you can have a Whitney on his offhand and a Chiasson on his offhand,” Ruff said. “I like those right-handed shots in those situations. Any rebound opportunities can turn into goals. If it’s a lefty, it’s a tougher play. It’s a good look for us. Those guys have to be responsible at the same time, but it is something we’d look at.”

Wednesday’s preseason game

Who: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday morning’s lineup

Jamie Benn-Tyler-Seguin-Erik Cole
Ray Whitney
-Cody Eakin-Valeri Nichushkin
Lane MacDermid
-Vernon Fiddler-Alex Chiasson
Ryan Garbutt
-Scott Glennie-Brett Ritchie

Trevor Daley-Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon
-Stephane Robidas
Jordie Benn
-Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen
Cristopher Nilstorp



This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 62 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 62 15 37 -3 52
E. Cole 57 18 15 4 33
T. Daley 59 16 16 -9 32
J. Klingberg 48 10 22 2 32
C. Eakin 59 14 14 -2 28
A. Hemsky 56 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 62 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 60 12 11 -11 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 10 .905 2.97
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
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