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Nichushkin a Healthy Scratch, Benn and Seguin Stay Together vs. Wild

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 3:09 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Nichushkin a Healthy Scratch, Benn and Seguin Stay Together vs. Wild
Forward Valeri Nichushkin will be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars take on the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Forward Valeri Nichushkin will be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars take on the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Nichushkin has no points over his last five games and three points over the last 11 contests. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said the 18-year-old rookie needs a break.

“He’s had a little bit of a tough ride,” Ruff said. “He said he has felt real tired. He’s 18, and for him it is a mental grind. We’ll try to freshen him up and get him going again.”

After splitting up Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in Friday’s practice, Ruff had them skating together again Saturday morning on a line with Rich Peverley. He had Alex Chiasson on a line with Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel. Vernon Fiddler was centering Erik Cole and Ryan Garbutt.

“We have four or five guys that we need to get on the board, and we’re just trying to strike a little bit better balance,” Ruff said. “We’ve lost seven of eight and, for me, I’ve got to get Fidds on the board and Chaser. If we’re going to be an effective team, those guys have got to produce.”

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar and Ray Whitney, who were both questionable coming into tonight’s game, are expected to play. Aaron Rome is set to return to the lineup after missing three games with a lower body injury. Kevin Connauton is expected to be the healthy scratch on defense.

Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice, so he it appears he will in goal tonight.

Quotable: Lindy Ruff on if the two upcoming games against Minnesota are must wins

“We started the season and after six games we got to must win, and we’ve been there ever since. Really, the way the schedule sits, we are just in that situation. I said we had to win three out of four, we lost our first one and we’ve got to win the next three. To push into the pack, we’ve got to do our work now.”

Saturday’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
When: 8:00 p.m.
TV: TXA-21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 GM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinRich Peverley
Antoine RousselCody EakinAlex Chiasson
Erik ColeVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Shawn HorcoffDustin JeffreyRay Whitney

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Brenden DillonJordie Benn
Aaron RomeSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Wild projected lineup

Dany Heatley-Charlie Coyle-Jason Zucker
Nino Niederreiter-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville
Matt Cooke-Kyle Brodziak-Justin Fontaine
Torrey Mitchell-Erik Haula-Stephane Veilleux

Ryan Suter-Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella-Nate Prosser
Clayton Stoner-Keith Ballard

Darcy Kuemper
Niklas Backstrom

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 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 61 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 61 14 37 -3 51
E. Cole 56 18 14 4 32
J. Klingberg 47 10 22 4 32
T. Daley 58 16 15 -11 31
A. Hemsky 55 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 61 2 24 4 26
C. Eakin 58 12 13 -3 25
A. Roussel 59 11 11 -11 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 9 .906 2.96
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
 
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