Ray Whitney to Return Tuesday vs. Ducks

Monday, 11.25.2013 / 2:53 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski

Ray Whitney, who has missed the last five games with a groin injury, will be back in the lineup Tuesday night when the Stars take on the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center.

Whitney was back in a familiar spot in Monday’s practice, skating on the left wing with center Cody Eakin and right wing Alex Chiasson.

“Ray is back in,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We threw him back with Eaks and Chaser. He’s ready to go and we’ll put him back on our power play unit and see if he can help us there.”

Erik Cole, who had been playing with Eakin and Chiasson, skated with Vernon Fiddler and Rich Peverley on Monday.

Ruff looking to get Ellis a start soon

Kari Lehtonen’s 14th straight start didn’t go well. He gave up five goals on 18 shots and was pulled early in the third period in Saturday’s 6-1 loss at St. Louis. Ruff thinks it might be time to give Lehtonen a night off in the near future and give backup Dan Ellis a start.

“I really believe Dan is going to have to go in and play,” Ruff said. “It isn’t even so much the physical fatigue, I think it’s the mental burn on the goaltender. Although we’ve given him (Lehtonen) extra days, he had an extra day before St. Louis, a goaltender needs to sit there and enjoy where he doesn’t have the mental stress of a game. Kari’s played really well. He had a tough night, but he’s played really well in this stretch.”

Asked if Lehtonen’s night off could come Tuesday against the Ducks, Ruff wouldn’t tip his hand.

“You’re pressing me too hard now,” Ruff said, drawing laughs from the media.

Stars look to get on track at home

The Stars, who have lost their last two games, play their next three games at home. The Stars have struggled at American Airlines Center recently, going 0-2-2 in their last four contests

“More important is to focus on the next game. We’ve lost two in a row, stop it at two and get going in the other direction again,” Ruff said. “We’ve done some real good things in the games, but we haven’t won.”

The first two games of the homestand are against some stiff competition. Tuesday it is Anaheim, which leads the Pacific Division, and then on Friday it is Chicago, the top team in the Central Division.

“We’re in a tough stretch against some pretty good teams. Those are the teams we are going to have to beat to move up in the standings,” said Stars forward Shawn Horcoff. “We put together one pretty good streak together before, we’ve fallen off a little bit here, but we have to put another together. That is all there is to it.”

Practice lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Ray Whitney
Cody EakinAlex Chiasson
Erik Cole
Vernon FiddlerRich Peverley
Antoine Roussel
/Dustin JeffreyShawn HorcoffRyan Garbutt

Brenden DillonStephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn
Sergei Gonchar
Aaron Rome
Kevin Connauton

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis


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 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 80 37 47 16 84
J. Benn 81 34 45 21 79
A. Goligoski 81 6 36 9 42
C. Eakin 81 16 19 -9 35
A. Chiasson 79 13 22 -21 35
V. Nichushkin 79 14 20 20 34
R. Garbutt 75 17 15 10 32
R. Whitney 69 9 23 -6 32
R. Peverley 62 7 23 -3 30
E. Cole 75 16 13 -17 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 20 10 .919 2.41
T. Thomas 18 24 4 .908 2.88
 
 
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