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Stars Getting Contributions Throughout Lineup

Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 4:49 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Getting Contributions Throughout Lineup
The Stars have been getting contributions throughout the lineup during the run, which includes three straight wins and a 5-1-0 record over the last six games.

Stars center Tyler Seguin made his weekly appearance on The Ticket Wednesday afternoon and the team’s recent roll was the first order of business in the discussion.

“Everyone is playing confident right now and every night seems to be a team effort,” Seguin said.

The Stars have been getting contributions throughout the lineup during the run, which includes three straight wins and a 5-1-0 record over the last six games.

The Stars have scored 23 goals in those six games with all four lines contributing and 12 different players, including 11 forwards, finding the back of the net. Leading the way is Ryan Garbutt with four goals. Cody Eakin and Colton Sceviour both have three. Getting production from lines other than the top one has been key during the run.

“We’re getting production from everyone, from top to bottom. You are going to need that,” said Stars forward Ray Whitney. “Seguin and [Jamie] Benn draw a lot of attention on a nightly basis, and they are not always going to be able to score. They are going to play well, but not always score. We are going to need some production elsewhere.”

Tuesday night in Washington it was a line of Whitney, Dustin Jeffrey and Alex Chiasson that came up big as the Stars defeated Washington, 5-0. Whitney had one goal and one assist, Jeffrey scored twice and Chiasson chipped in three assists.

“From day one it seems like Ray and I have clicked,” said Chiasson. “We’ve had our stretches this year where it’s been a little harder, I’ll be the first to admit that. I think he’s a great guy for me to play with. He’s really smart and gives you the puck at the right time. DJ is pretty strong on draws, he can skate and we are going to try to build on this.”

The game before that in St. Louis it was a line of Shawn Horcoff, Vernon Fiddler and Sceviour that produced two goals, both scored by Sceviour, that staked the Stars to an important 2-0 lead the second night of a back-to-back.

“Right off the bat we had some good chemistry,” said Horcoff. “Fidds is such a good workhorse. He does a lot of things really well, he gets on the puck. Scevs has a great touch around the net and I am just trying to do some things myself with the puck and we just seemed to have found some chemistry.”

The trio of Antoine Roussel, Eakin and Garbutt scored the next two goals as the Stars defeated the Blues 4-2 in one of their bigger wins of the season.

“[Eakin’s line] has been playing great,” said Chiasson. “I think everyone tries to contribute as much as they can, and I think when you go into a playoff push that is what makes a difference.”

And on the night before the St. Louis victory, seven different players scored in a 7-3 win over Nashville at American Airlines Center, and the Stars got a big night from two of their defensemen. Alex Goligoski had four assists and a plus-five rating in the game. Trevor Daley scored one goal, assisted on one other and was a plus-five as well. And the contributions of the defense shouldn’t be overlooked in this recent run.

Daley has two goals, two assists and a plus-eight rating in the last six games. Goligoski has five assists, a plus-10 rating and 16 blocked shots. Jordie Benn has five assists, a plus-six rating and 17 blocked shots. Brenden Dillon has one assist, a plus-four rating and 13 blocked shots.

Then there is the guy manning the net. Kari Lehtonen is 5-1-0 over those six games with a 1.67 goals against average and .950 save percentage.

And he’s getting a lot of support from the guys in front of him.

“A lot of guys are feeling good about their games right now,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “The fact that they are on the score sheet really helps.”

Wednesday notes

*The Stars held an optional practice in North Carolina Wednesday with just a small group of players skating.

*Stars coach Lindy Ruff said forward Erik Cole, who has missed the last six games, is getting closer to a return.

“Just day to day, progressing,” Ruff sad. “He’s going to go for more of a full skate today and we’ll see where he is at. I think he is an option later in the week.”

*Ruff said he liked what he saw from defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who made his debut in Tuesday night’s 5-0 win in Washington. The 22-year-old Nemeth played 11:50, was plus-one and had three blocked shots.

“For the first game and a little bit of the jitters, he said he was a little bit nervous, I thought he gave us a solid 11 minutes,” Ruff said. “It was a good first game for him, got him out there against some good players. I liked what I saw.”

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 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 62 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 62 15 37 -3 52
E. Cole 57 18 15 4 33
T. Daley 59 16 16 -9 32
J. Klingberg 48 10 22 2 32
C. Eakin 59 14 14 -2 28
A. Hemsky 56 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 62 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 60 12 11 -11 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 10 .905 2.97
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
 
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