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Posted On Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 2:48 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are 4-0-1 in their past five games at American Airlines Center, but coach Lindy Ruff would like to see them break out for their first Central Division win (0-6-3) Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"Every game's important for us right now," Ruff said after the morning skate. "We took a good step in the right direction again [with a 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday]. I think it's just becoming a consistent team where we're not two steps forward and two back. We got to win games. It doesn't matter if it's Central Division. You name it, we have to win games."

Ruff is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairings identical from the win Saturday against Montreal, a victory which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Goalie Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice for Dallas and will start his second straight game and 23rd of the season.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 1:19 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Stars

DALLAS -- With the Dallas Stars on a four-game winless streak heading into a matchup at American Airlines Center on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens, Stars coach Lindy Ruff is keeping things simple.

“For me, it comes down to compete level,” Ruff said. “We haven’t won enough 1-on-1s and our compete [level] has to be better.”

Dallas, which is starting a three-game home stand, lost all three games of its most recent road trip and was outscored 15-7. The Stars have also allowed five goals in three straight games and lost the previous game to those, 5-4 in a shootout against Minnesota.

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Posted On Friday, 11.28.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars host the Minnesota Wild at American Airlines Center on Friday in a game featuring teams on opposite ends of the Central Division spectrum.

Dallas (9-9-4) has won three straight, but the Stars are 0-5-2 against the Central, a mark defenseman Trevor Daley knows needs improving.

"You want to put yourself in position to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs, and you make the playoffs by being good in your division, so yeah, they're big games," Daley said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.25.2014 / 2:44 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars seek a third straight victory at American Airlines Center on Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Stars (8-9-4), who are 2-1-0 in their longest homestand of the season, beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 on Saturday.

More than anything else, Dallas coach Lindy Ruff wants some consistency from his club, a quality he feels has been lacking.

"It's just been inconsistent. Like I said, I've loved our team, I've hated our team," Ruff said. "I loved them for 38 minutes and then I hated the way we played for the last 22. I loved the way we fought back against Carolina, but I didn't like where we got to before we fought back. So it's been that inconsistency that's hurt our team. It's hurt our play here at home and that's frustrating."

Ruff made one change to his forward lines from Saturday, plugging left wing Ryan Garbutt in on the right side of his fourth line, replacing Curtis McKenzie, who was assigned to Texas of the American Hockey League on Monday.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 2:22 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Stars

DALLAS -- Two days removed from snapping a seven-game home losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars now seek their first back-to-back home victories when they play the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The Stars (7-9-4) have already faced the Kings twice in November, losing 3-1 in Dallas on Nov. 4 but prevailing 2-0 at Staples Center on Nov. 13.

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff expects another tough game on Saturday, the third game of a five-game homestand for the Stars.

"I think they're a real good team at getting around the net. They go hard to the net," Ruff said. "Every line plays the same and I think that physically we got to be up for that challenge."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 4:08 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars' struggles at American Airlines Center, where they are 1-5-4, have been widely discussed. Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Stars will look to snap a seven-game home winless streak (0-5-2) and get their first victory on a season-long five-game homestand.

"We're obviously sick of losing," Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "We know that the only way to get out of it is to really just work harder. Everyone just wants to bring their best effort [Thursday]. We feel like we just got to get one here and then we'll start rolling. The mood's pretty good. We just want to end this thing and get a result."

Dallas, which lost 6-4 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, last won at home Oct. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 3:56 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Stars

DALLAS -- After losing 6-2 at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the Dallas Stars are not only looking to rebound Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes at American Airlines Center, but they're also hoping to start turning things around on home ice, where they are 1-4-4 this season.

Dallas (6-8-4) is starting a five-game homestand against the Hurricanes, who have lost three straight, and Stars coach Lindy Ruff knows how important it is to begin this run of games with a victory.

"Well, it's real big," Ruff said. "We got to push forward now and we got to do it at home. Our home record is the one thing that's been holding us up and we got to start just period by period, going out and winning periods."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 1:38 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Wild at Stars

DALLAS -- After winning each game of a two-game road trip and snapping a seven-game winless streak, the Dallas Stars shift their focus toward winning on home ice for the first time since Oct. 21 on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild at American Airlines Center.

"Well, I'd like to start off well [against the Wild]," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said "This still is a little bit new to me, where you'll fly back. We thought getting a practice [Friday], we don't have any more practices planned now for three, four days, which is strange. It's just going to be play."

Ruff is keeping his defensive pairs and line combinations almost the same from a 2-0 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, when goaltender Kari Lehtonen earned his first shutout of the season.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.08.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Stars

DALLAS -- With his team on a six-game losing streak (0-4-2), Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff decided to shake things up by jumbling his defense pairs ahead of a Saturday game against the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center.

Ruff broke up his top pair of Trevor Daley and Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon, who had been with Jordie Benn on the second pair, will play alongside Daley and Goligoski will play with Benn. The third pair will be Kevin Connauton and Sergei Gonchar.

Dallas, which last won Oct. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks, lost 3-2 to the Nashville Predators on Thursday, a loss where Ruff saw plenty of signs that the Stars are ready to break out.

"Well, obviously we haven't won. The other night we had enough opportunities to win the game. I think when you give [Tyler] Seguin and [Jamie] Benn seven or eight opportunities that they had, if they find the back of the net that game's ours. But they didn't. I believe they will," Ruff said. "We had some great opportunities on second opportunities, and I think if you build off that and a little bit sharper on special teams, you win a game."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 2:25 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Stars

DALLAS -- With the Dallas Stars power play 0-for-14 over the past three games, coach Lindy Ruff tweaked his top unit by putting Antoine Roussel in to generate more presence in front of the opposing net on Thursday against the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center.

"Well, we're looking for more net front, somebody around. We got to get somebody inside," Ruff said after the morning skate. "We need somebody that's willing to really take one for the team; stay in there, hunker down. We've got some good shooters. We need a guy that can take the goalie's eyes away. If he can't see it, he can't control rebounds."

It's a new role which Roussel, who is tied for third on Dallas with four goals, is embracing.

"I am just trying to help the team and be in front of the net. I've been in front of most of the net 5-on-5, so maybe it will be easier to get to the net on the power play," Roussel said. "I am going to try to help out the boys and do my best."

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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