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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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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 77 28 46 -6 74
T. Seguin 67 35 35 -4 70
J. Spezza 77 17 42 -3 59
J. Klingberg 60 11 27 3 38
C. Eakin 73 17 19 -5 36
T. Daley 63 16 20 -10 36
A. Goligoski 77 4 31 -2 35
A. Hemsky 71 11 21 -5 32
S. Horcoff 73 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 75 12 15 -5 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 34 16 10 .906 2.88
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.25
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