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Whitney Out, Cole Questionable for Saturday

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 4:26 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Whitney Out, Cole Questionable for Saturday
Stars forward Ray Whitney, who left Thursday night\u2019s game against Carolina with a lower body injury, is out for Saturday\u2019s game against Tampa Bay.

Stars forward Ray Whitney, who left Thursday night’s game against Carolina with a lower body injury, is out for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Whitney did not skate Friday and is listed as day to day, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff said time will tell on this injury.

“He’s got a muscle strain, lower body,” Ruff said. “These prove to be longer than day to day usually. He could be day to day and feel better tomorrow, but these sometime take a little bit of time.”

Forward Erik Cole, who has missed the last seven games with an upper body injury, practiced on Friday, but is questionable for Saturday.

“That is a tough one. We’re hopeful, but I don’t know. I don’t know,” Ruff said. “He’s working hard trying to fight through it, but he hasn’t been through a real practice. Today was maybe as close, and that wasn’t a real practice. It was a get the hands and feet and get the blood flowing.

With Whitney out and Cole questionable, the Stars called up forward Chris Mueller from the Texas Stars Friday afternoon. Mueller has no points and has won 24 of 43 faceoffs (55.8 percent) in eight games with Dallas this season.

Ruff said bringing in someone from Texas for injury relief has its advantages.

“I like the fact that players are playing, that they are not sitting around as the extra guy,” Ruff said. “I think you see the benefits with what [Dustin] Jeffrey has done to help us win a couple games. I think when you have that proximity and you can get players in as easy as we can, they are more ready to be players by playing than they are by sitting in the stands watching.”

Special teams focus

The Stars lost the special teams battle Thursday at Carolina, allowing two power play goals and going 0-3 on the power play in the 4-1 loss. It was a topic of discussion Friday for the Stars.

“We got a little bit passive on our penalty killing and I thought on our power play we had no net front presence,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We were a little disjointed on the entries again, where we weren’t patient enough to get everybody back and together. But once we were in the zone we allowed [Carolina goaltender Anton] Khudobin to get out in the paint and see pucks and make plays. We’ve got to do a better job getting in front.”

The Stars are 0-10 on the power play over the last three games and 1-13 over the last five. The penalty kill has allowed goals in 10 of the last 15 games.

Notes

*Captain Jamie Benn did not practice Friday. He was given the day off.

*Defenseman Aaron Rome practiced Friday, but remains day to day with a lower body injury.

Quotable: Lindy Ruff on misconduct penalties

“It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal. The penalties we took in the game were a big deal. It’s the one thing I addressed after the game. We’re not going to do that. It was actually embarrassing. I told the team we should all be embarrassed. We’re not going to do that.”

-Ruff when asked about the 10 minute misconducts Stars forwards Tyler Seguin and Ryan Garbutt received towards the end of Thursday’s 4-1 loss in Carolina.

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

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
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 61 29 20 12 164 157 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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