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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 / 11:23 AM CT / 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.

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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