Friday Practice Update

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 2:40 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Friday Practice Update

The Dallas Stars held a short practice in Frisco Friday morning as they prepared for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With a little time to reflect on Thursday night’s 4-1 victory over Carolina, coach Lindy Ruff said he felt the Stars came close to matching the level of play they showed heading into the Olympic break.

“Ninety percent of the game is right where we were at. We limited the opportunities; we basically played the game we wanted to play,” Ruff said. “The speed in the game was good. Our transition game we did a nice job. There were only a couple times on some turnovers that we got trapped in our own end. For the most part, we were right in sync with where we were at.”

The Stars improved to 7-1-2 over last the ten games. They have outscored their opposition 31-13 during that stretch, allowing two goals or fewer in eight of those ten games.

Benn feeling better, practices

Stars captain Jamie Benn, who missed a few shifts in Thursday night’s game against Carolina due to not feeling well, wasn’t expected to practice Friday but he took the ice anyway in Frisco.

“He had a little bit of illness. We expected him to stay off, but he came to us and said he wanted to skate,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I think with an afternoon game tomorrow (2 p.m. start time) and feeling a little bit better, it was a good decision.”

Benn missed time early in the third period of Thursday night’s game, but returned to finish the contest.

Roussel hears nothing from the league

Stars forward Antoine Roussel said he didn’t hear anything from the NHL about last night’s incident involving Carolina goaltender Anton Khudobin. Roussel received a charging major and a game misconduct in the third period when he ran into the Hurricanes netminder.

“Why would I?” Roussel said after Friday’s practice when asked if he had heard anything from the league.

Roussel said after the game that Carolina defenseman John-Michael Liles pushed him into Khudobin.

Dillon takes

Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon’s shorthanded goal Thursday night was his second of the season, giving him the lead among all NHL defensemen. He’s tied for eighth among all players in shorthanded goals.

“I think on both of them, our team is really fast and likes to push the pace,” said Dillon. “On both those goals our forwards made great plays to get the puck out. I was just trying to get my gap and get up as close to the play as I could. Sure enough, I got some good bounces going my way and I was able to capitalize.”

Since the league started tracking shorthanded goals in the late 1960’s, a defenseman has scored multiple shorthanded goals in a season 144 times, according to Quanthockey.com. But it’s happened just 12 times in the last ten seasons, including this one. Dillon is just one of seven active defensemen who have accomplished the feat.

The goal was Dillon’s sixth of the season, giving him the team lead. Stars coach Lindy Ruff was asked if he is seen some growth in the offensive side of Dillon’s game.

“I did last night,” Ruff said with a laugh, referring to the slick move Dillon made to score the goal. “He looked like a 30-goal scorer last night. Anytime a D man does something like that, the bench erupts. The great thing about coaching is to see the reaction when a player that isn’t supposed to be able to pull off a move like that pulls it off. That makes coaching fun.”

In case you are wondering what the record is for shorthanded goals by a defenseman in a season, Dillon has a long, long ways to go. Paul Coffey scored nine of them for Edmonton in the 1985-86 season.

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 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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