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

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 3:09 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski

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 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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 3 2 1 0 3
C. Sceviour 3 1 2 1 3
R. Garbutt 3 2 0 2 2
A. Chiasson 3 1 1 -3 2
T. Seguin 3 1 1 2 2
V. Nichushkin 3 1 1 1 2
S. Horcoff 3 0 2 2 2
T. Daley 3 0 2 1 2
A. Roussel 3 0 2 2 2
C. Eakin 3 0 2 0 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 1 2 0 .923 2.37
 
 
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