Stars Will Rest Benn, Lehtonen, Daley in Regular Season Finale

Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 3:33 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Will Rest Benn, Lehtonen, Daley in Regular Season Finale

The Dallas Stars close out the regular season tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. There’s nothing at stake for the Stars, who wrapped up a playoff stop on Friday, but coach Lindy Ruff said he is trying to keep things as normal as possible.

“You just approach it as a normal game. That’s the best thing to do,” Ruff said. “You talk about how you want to play, compete hard. The worst thing you can do is take the game for granted because bad things can happen. I talked to the team about being ready to play and keeping it as normal as possible.”

The Stars will rest some players. Kari Lehtonen will get the night off and Tim Thomas will start in goal. Jamie Benn won’t play and it appears Trevor Daley will get the night off as well.

“Some of it is based on play and some of it is being a little bit nicked up,” Ruff said. “In Jamie’s case, he’s played a lot of hockey and he didn’t have the time off other guys had. He’s been fighting through a little bit of an injury, so it is a good time to let him freshen up.”

Kevin Connauton and Aaron Rome will be in on defense. Rome hasn’t played since March 29 and Connauton hasn’t played since March 25, so Ruff wants to get them plenty of ice time tonight to be ready for the playoffs if they are needed.

“We’d like to get both those guys big minutes, we’d like to see it around 20 minutes for both guys,” Ruff said.

Brenden Dillon, who left Friday’s game with a lower body injury, did not skate Sunday. Ruff said he anticipates Dillon being ready for the playoffs.

“He’s day to day. He’ll probably skate on Tuesday and if things go well I anticipate he’ll play,” Ruff said.

Ray Whitney, who has missed the last five games with a lower body injury, continues to skate and is listed as day to day.

Stars-Ducks to begin on Wednesday

The Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks will open the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at 9 p.m. Wednesday night at Honda Center in Anaheim. The rest of the schedule will be released late Sunday or early Monday.

Sunday’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes
Where: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale
When: 8:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Shawn HorcoffTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Erik Cole
Vernon FiddlerAlex Chiasson
Chris Mueller
Dustin JeffreyColton Sceviour

Jordie BennAlex Goligoski
Aaron RomeSergei Gonchar
Patrik NemethKevin Connauton

Tim Thomas
Kari Lehtonen

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 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82
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