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

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 2:09 PM CT / 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 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
5 MIN 75 43 25 7 215 185 93
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
11 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 75 27 44 -6 71
T. Seguin 65 33 34 -3 67
J. Spezza 75 16 40 -4 56
J. Klingberg 58 10 27 5 37
C. Eakin 71 17 17 -4 34
A. Goligoski 75 4 30 -1 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
A. Hemsky 69 11 21 -7 32
S. Horcoff 71 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 73 12 14 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
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