Valeri Nichushkin Back in Lineup as Stars Take on Sharks

Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 12:51 PM CT / 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.

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 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47


J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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