Nichushkin to Sit Again, Connauton Back In vs. Predators

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 1:42 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Nichushkin to Sit Again, Connauton Back In vs. Predators
Rookie forward Valeri Nichushkin will be a healthy scratch for a second straight game when the Dallas Stars take on the Nashville Predators tonight.

Rookie forward Valeri Nichushkin will be a healthy scratch for a second straight game when the Dallas Stars take on the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena.

“Because of where his energy level has been I am not going to play him back-to-back games,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He’ll go in tomorrow (vs. Minnesota in Dallas).”

The 18-year-old Nichushkin hasn’t registered a point in his last five games, and told Ruff that he was starting to feel fatigued.

“He was playing really well and maybe the schedule caught up with him,” Ruff said. “I just know that in talking to him he talked about how tired he was. Not many players will admit to no legs and fatigue. I think some of it is mental fatigue because he pushed hard. I think some of it is the Olympic part, where he was pushing hard. Some of it is the NHL schedule, which is real demanding. It’s a physical grind, not just a skating grind. So, he’s got a little bit of everything. This is just part of his progression.”

Ruff appears set to go with the lines he used at the end of Saturday’s game in Minnesota, which means splitting up Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin at times.

“We could see a little bit of either,” Ruff said. “It makes it hard on the other team’s coach if he wants to play a certain defense pair of a certain line.”

On defense, Kevin Connauton will be back in after sitting out the last game as a healthy scratch. Jordie Benn will be the scratch tonight against Nashville.

“Connauton has played pretty well,” Ruff said. “I think in some situations Jordie has struggled.”

Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice, so he is the expected starter in goal for the Stars. Carter Hutton is expected to get the start in goal for Nashville.

Monday’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Where: Bridgestone Arena
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Antoine RousselTyler SeguinRich Peverley
Jamie BennCody EakinAlex Chiasson
Erik ColeVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Dustin JeffreyShawn HorcoffRay Whitney

Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon
Trevor DaleyKevin Connauton
Aaron RomeSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Predators projected lineup

Patric Hornqvist - Mike Fisher - Colin Wilson
Craig Smith - David Legwand - Nick Spaling
Gabriel Bourque - Matt Cullen - Eric Nystrom
Viktor Stalberg - Paul Gaustad - Rich Clune

Shea Weber - Roman Josi
Seth Jones - Mattias Ekholm
Ryan Ellis - Victor Bartley/Kevin Klein

Carter Hutton
Devan Dubnyk

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 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
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 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 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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