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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 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 46 28 24 1 52
J. Benn 46 13 27 -3 40
J. Spezza 46 8 26 -4 34
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 46 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 46 11 11 -2 22
T. Daley 43 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 43 9 12 6 21
A. Hemsky 43 7 11 -5 18
J. Klingberg 32 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 19 10 7 .904 2.98
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
 
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