Stars Ready to Get Back at it vs. Hurricanes

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:41 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Ready to Get Back at it vs. Hurricanes

When the Dallas Stars returned from the Olympic break, GM Jim Nill was asked where he thought his team stood as it prepared for the stretch drive. Nill said that is a good question.

“I think every team is the same. I don’t think anybody really knows where their team is going to be at,” Nill said. “We had a great run here to get ourselves in a playoff position and now we are going to start up. We had two weeks off. We’re excited, but until we get playing I don’t think we know where anybody is at in the league.”

As far as where the Stars are heading, we’ll start finding out tonight when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at the American Airlines Center in their first game out of the break. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he believes his team is ready.

“I think, just judging by practice, we’re ready to go,” Ruff said. “Our guys have done their part to stay ready and be in the best possible shape, game-shape that they can be in.”

Still, the Stars haven’t played a game in almost three weeks, so tonight’s game could present some challenges.

“We need to be the least rusty team,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “They’ve already had a game (Tuesday at Buffalo) to get the rust off, get the legs going and to get in game mode. We’ve have a couple weeks of good practices and some time to relax the body. Now it’s just a matter of playing those games and getting back to Dallas Stars hockey.”

“I’m hoping that we can keep the shifts short,” said Ruff. “We can have some good shifts and create some good energy, but you can anticipate a little bit of rust and I think we’re going to have to be ready to get through that.”

The Stars, who headed into the break in eighth place in the Western Conference, will enter tonight’s game in ninth place, one point behind Vancouver, which took over the final playoff spot in the conference with a 1-0 win over St. Louis.

Tonight’s game will kick off a stretch of three straight and six of seven at American Airlines Center.

Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice for the Dallas Stars, so he is expected to get the start in goal tonight. Aaron Rome is expected to be the lone healthy scratch. Stephane Robidas (leg) remains out due to injury.

Anton Khudobin will start in goal for the Hurricanes.

Quotable: Lindy Ruff

“I said the only disappointment this morning is we’ve got to wait until tonight to play. It’s great to be back. The guys sense the importance of these coming games and they’ve worked hard the past seven, eight days to be ready.”

Thursday’s game

Who: Carolina Hurricanes at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Erik ColeCody EakinRich Peverley
Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Ray WhitneyShawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Hurricanes projected lineup

Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Pat Dwyer
Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Tuomo Ruutu
Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Elias Lindholm

Justin Faulk – Andrei Sekera
John-Michael Liles – Ron Hainsey
Brett Bellemore – Jay Harrison

Anton Khudobin
Cam Ward

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 reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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