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Valeri Nichushkin Back in Lineup as Stars Take on Sharks

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 1:51 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Valeri Nichushkin Back in Lineup as Stars Take on Sharks
Valeri Nichushkin will be back in the lineup tonight as the Dallas Stars take on the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.

Valeri Nichushkin will be back in the lineup tonight as the Dallas Stars take on the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.

Nichushkin, who was a healthy scratch in Tuesday’s game at Colorado, skated on a line with Shawn Horcoff and Erik Cole during Thursday morning’s skate at the AAC. Nichushkin, who has been playing right wing this season, will line up at left wing for tonight’s game.

“It’s just a look we are going to try,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’s played four games at right wing and he’s got one shot on net. We’re going to give him a look over there, but that doesn’t mean he is going to stay there. I just think it is a little crowded on the right side. I’ve seen Erik play left side and I don’t like him over there. He’s a lot more effective player on the right. Then you’ve got (Alex) Chiasson and (Rich) Peverley ahead of him. The move to try to get him a little more ice time would be to get him in that third line role at left wing.”

The 18-year-old Nichushkin, the Stars first round pick (10th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, has struggled at times in his first four regular season games. Ruff said when a talented young player like Nichushkin isn’t producing it can snowball a little.

“I think part of any young player is dealing with the frustration of not scoring,” Ruff said. “When they don’t see their offense they start guessing in the game, they start going to places, they start extending their shifts. He’s got good talent. We know he’s going to be a good player and any young player goes through tough stretches that they are going to have to work their way through.”

Ruff gave Nichushkin Tuesday night off so he could watch a game and perhaps pick up a few things that way. Ruff has talked with Nichushkin as well.

“I spent some time with him yesterday, and that's a process,” Ruff said. “I know he's frustrated. Like any young player, he wants to score and he wants points, and I think all of that will come if the right things happen.”

Lehtonen update

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is out for tonight’s game against San Jose. He remains on injured reserve with a lower body injury. Stars coach Lindy Ruff didn’t have much new information on Lehtonen other to say that the Stars netminder is making progress.

“Kari is progressing. He is getting better every day,” Ruff said. “I’d like to give you more. He’s getting better every day and I expect him back in the near future.”

Thursday’s game

Who: San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM

Stars projected lineup

Here’s the Stars projected lineup for tonight. Dan Ellis will get the start in goal. The defense pairings are a question mark for tonight.

“We’re going to keep that a little cloudy for you,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said when asked about the pairs.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinRich Peverley
Ray Whitney
Cody EakinAlex Chiasson
Valeri Nichushkin
- Shawn HorcoffErik Cole
Antoine Roussel
Vernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt

Alex GoligoskiSergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon
Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn

Dan Ellis (starter)
Jack Campbell

Sharks projected lineup

Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Tyler Kennedy – Logan Couture – Patrick Marleau
Matthew Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – Bracken Kearns

Matt Irwin – Brad Stuart
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi (starter)
Alex Stalock




1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 66 41 18 7 196 162 89
3 STL 64 40 19 5 198 162 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 MIN 64 35 22 7 181 164 77
6 VAN 64 36 24 4 184 176 76
7 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
8 CGY 64 35 25 4 182 165 74
9 LAK 64 31 21 12 175 167 74
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 DAL 65 29 26 10 203 215 68
12 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
13 ARI 65 21 37 7 142 220 49
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46


J. Benn 65 23 38 -3 61
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 65 15 37 -5 52
J. Klingberg 51 10 25 4 35
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
C. Eakin 62 15 15 -1 30
A. Goligoski 65 3 24 3 27
A. Hemsky 59 9 17 -9 26
A. Roussel 63 12 12 -12 24
S. Horcoff 61 9 14 3 23
K. Lehtonen 26 13 10 .905 2.98
J. Enroth 14 25 2 .901 3.26
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