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Morning Skate Update

Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 1:31 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Morning Skate Update
Morning skate update as the Stars open the 2013-14 season.

It will be Kari Lehtonen vs. Tim Thomas in goal tonight when the Dallas Stars take on the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center in the season opener for both teams.

“Ready to rock and roll,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “The points count now and everything is for real. It’s been a good camp, but I think everybody has been excited for this day to come.”

The Stars saw the Panthers twice in the preseason, winning both games. But this time the game will count and Florida has made a lot of changes to its roster since those exhibition games, adding Thomas, defensemen Ryan Whitney and Tom Gilbert and forward Brad Boyes.

The Panthers also have 2013 Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

“They are a team that maybe flies under the radar themselves,” Dillon said. “That Barkov is a high pick this year. They’ve got (Dmitry) Kulikov, (Brian) Campbell on the backend. Tim Thomas is kind of that wild card. He won a Stanley Cup a couple years ago. It’s going to be interesting. They are a lot like us with a lot of changes. It will be a good game tonight for sure.”

Nichushkin to make NHL debut

Valeri Nichushkin, the Stars’ first round pick (10th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut tonight. He is expected to play right wing on a line with center Vernon Fiddler and left wing Shawn Horcoff.

“He’s one of a lot of young guys. You want to see how the young guys approach the game,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Obviously, it is his first pro game and he’ll probably have some nerves early on. Maybe there will be a tendency to try a little too much, but it’s his first game and we want to get him through it and we want him to enjoy it.”

Thursday’s game

Who: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/104.1 FM

Projected Stars lineup

Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Erik Cole
Ray Whitney
-Cody Eakin-Alex Chiasson
Shawn Horcoff
-Vernon Fiddler-Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel
-Chris Mueller-Ryan Garbutt

Alex Goligoski-Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon
-Stephane Robidas
Jordie Benn
-Trevor Daley

Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Dan Ellis

Projected Panthers lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes
Tomas Fleischmann - Marcel Goc - Kris Versteeg
Jesse Winchester - Shawn Matthias - Tomas Kopecky
Scottie Upshall - Scott Gomez - Drew Shore

Brian Campbell – Ryan Whitney
Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Tom Gilbert - Erik Gudbranson

Tim Thomas (starter)
Jacob Markstrom

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. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
12 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 64 23 38 -4 61
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 64 15 37 -5 52
J. Klingberg 50 10 24 2 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
C. Eakin 61 15 15 0 30
A. Hemsky 58 9 17 -9 26
A. Goligoski 64 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 62 12 12 -10 24
S. Horcoff 60 8 13 3 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 26 13 10 .906 2.95
J. Enroth 13 25 2 .900 3.30
 
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