Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE
Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 1:30 PM

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

Stars know exactly what's at stake against Sharks

DALLAS -- Just three days after losing 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion, the Dallas Stars get another crack at their Pacific Division rivals, this time Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

And with the Stars (42-32-5, 89 points) currently sitting ninth in the Western Conference standings with just three games remaining, there's no doubt how huge this game is if they are to have any chance of ending a three-year playoff drought.

"Yeah, we've talked about that a lot here the last couple days," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We control our own fate, is what we worked for, and the other thing is the conditions are good. We're not back-to-back or coming in late. We're at home with a practice, a day off and a morning skate. The conditions are what you want this time of year to have success."

Dallas is 4-6-0 over its last 10 games, including a 1-3-0 record on a recently-concluded road trip that took the Stars through Western Canada before ending in San Jose on Saturday night.

On the plus side, the Stars figure to get back third-line winger Eric Nystrom, who missed the last three games after suffering a cut on his leg in a 5-4 loss at Calgary on March 26.

"Nystrom went through a full practice. He's a full go," Gulutzan said.

Dallas may or may not have the services of veteran winger Radek Dvorak, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury. Gulutzan termed him as a game-time decision.

"I know Devo's chomping at the bit to go. He's a pro and he's a hungry pro," Gulutzan said. "He takes care of himself and he’s been waiting for an opportunity. We've got to make a decision based more on health than anything."

Other that getting Nystrom back, it looks like the Stars will also have a capacity crowd for this crucial game with the Sharks. And after returning from a road trip that can at best be labled as disappointing, seeing a full house will be a welcome sight for the Dallas players.

"It'll be nice. Last game you look at their crowd [in San Jose] can get into it and it's definitely an advantage. That team over there is a different team on the road than when they're at home," Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "I think that's something we kind of want to establish here. We want to be extremely tough to beat at home and a big crowd will amp it up. It's obviously an important game as it is, so it'll just make it even that much more fun."

In Saturday's 3-0 loss at San Jose, the Stars did outhit the Sharks 42-17 -- and while that statistic can be a bit misleading, Dallas does want to bring a similar level of physicality to its sixth and final meeting of the regular season with their division rival.

"We want to be physical against them," Stars winger Adam Burish. "I think that just goes with the energy -- the way you play, the way you get on pucks, the way we forecheck. They do such a good job with the way they come out of their zone. We're going to have to be more physical, which means getting two guys on the puck."

But no matter how he and his teammates look at it, Tuesday night's game is a definite must-win.

"If you want to control it and tell yourself that you're going to have a realistic chance of making the playoffs, you have to win tonight," Burish said. "That's the way I'm kind of approaching it. This is one that you've got to have."
   
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 04.03.2012 / 1:28 PM

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

Projected lineups for Sharks, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for Tuesday night's game between the San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

SHARKS
Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryan Clowe - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat
T.J. Galiardi - Dominic Moore - Torrey Mitchell
Daniel Winnik - Andrew Desjardins - Tommy Wingels

Dan Boyle - Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Brent Burns - Jason Demers
Justin Braun - Colin White

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Injuries: Douglas Murray (undisclosed)

Scratches: Benn Ferreiro, Michal Handzus, Jim Vandermeer, Brad Winchester

Notes: Not only are the Sharks seeing their second victory over the Stars in a span of three days, but San Jose is also looking to avenge a 4-3 shootout loss during its last trip to American Airlines Center back on March 8. However, the stakes are much higher for this sixth and final meeting between these Pacific Division rivals. A win by San Jose and it takes a major step toward securing a playoff berth -- and in the process, the Sharks could deal a near-fatal blow to any postseason aspirations on the part of the Stars. Saturday's game was a physical affair and this one figures to be no different.

STARS
Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Steve Ott - Jamie Benn - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Tomas Vincour
Brenden Morrow - Jake Dowell - Ryan Garbutt

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Philip Larsen - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Mark Fistric

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Injuries: Radek Dvorak (ankle), Eric Nystrom (leg)

Scratches: Adam Pardy, Toby Petersen, Reilly Smith, Tom Wandell

Notes: The Stars head into Tuesday's meeting with the Sharks on the outside looking in as far as the Western Conference playoff race. Saturday's 3-0 loss at San Jose knocked them to ninth, which makes the sixth and final meeting between these Pacific Division rivals crucial for both clubs. It looks like Nystrom will be ready to return. He suffered a cut on his leg during Dallas' recently-concluded four-game road trip, while fellow third-liner Dvorak, who is battling an ankle issue, was called a game-time decision by Stars coach Glen Gulutzan after practice on Monday. Saturday's loss at HP Pavilion marked the first time the Stars hadn't scored at least one goal in 34 games. Dallas had last been shut out on Jan. 16 when it fell 1-0 to the Blues in St. Louis.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.24.2012 / 10:45 AM

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

Flames, desperate for two points, travel to Dallas

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for the game Saturday between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center:

FLAMES

Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - David Moss
Lee Stempniak - Blair Jones - Blake Comeau
Tom Kostopoulos - Lance Bouma - Tim Jackman

Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan
Derek Smith - Anton Babchuk

Miikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson

Injuries: Mikael Backlund (shoulder), TJ Brodie (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Cory Sarich (upper body).

Scratches: Roman Horak, Clay Wilson.

Notes:  Losers of four straight, including their last three games in extra time, it’s no big secret the Flames head to Dallas for an afternoon tilt in desperate need of two points. Calgary last played Thursday, dropping a 3-2 decision at Minnesota in overtime. For the season, they are 14-16-9 on the road and 5-1-4 in their last 10 games. But if there’s anything to give the Flames hope, it’s that both of their first two meetings this season with the Stars have gone to the wire. Dallas won in overtime at American Airlines Center earlier this year and it took a shootout for the Stars to leave Calgary with two points when these clubs met at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flames are currently 11th in the Western Conference standings with 83 points, but a regulation win today would tie them with Dallas, who currently sits in eighth.

STARS

Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Jamie Benn - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Philip Larsen - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Adam Pardy

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Jordie Benn, Ryan Garbutt, Toby Petersen. Tomas Vincour.

Injuries: Mark Fistric (abdominal strain).

Notes:  After putting together an 11-game point streak, the Stars have dropped three of their last four, including two of their first three games on their current homestand, which ends with the visit by the Flames. Dallas last played Thursday, losing 2-1 to the Canucks. Scoring goals has suddenly become an issue for the Stars as only once in their last six games have they scored more than twice in a game. That came Tuesday night in a 4-3 shootout win against the Coyotes. Dallas has beaten Calgary twice this season already, once in overtime at American Airlines Center and again in a shootout in Alberta.  Two Stars players have ties to the Flames. LW Eric Nystrom started his career in Calgary while D Adam Pardy spent the last few seasons there before signing with Dallas as a free agent last summer.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 03.22.2012 / 1:34 PM

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

Projected lineups for Canucks, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

CANUCKS
Mason Raymond - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows
Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - David Booth
Dale Weise - Samuel Pahlsson - Jannik Hansen
Manny Malhotra - Maxim Lapierre - Zack Kassian

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler - Sami Salo
Andrew Alberts - Christopher Tanev

Cory Schneider
Roberto Luongo

Injuries: Keith Ballard (neck/concussion), Andrew Ebbett (collarbone), Daniel Sedin (head)

Scratches: Marc-Andre Gragnani, Aaron Rome

Notes: The Canucks head into Thursday’s game with the Stars after a 2-1 overtime loss in Chicago on Wednesday. That defeat could prove costly as Vancouver lost top-line winger Daniel Sedin after he took an elbow to the head in the first period against the Blackhawks. Sedin has been ruled out for tonight's game. Vancouver is just 3-5-2 over their last 10 games but is 22-11-5 on the road this season. The Canucks have also done fairly well in the second game of a back-to-back this season with a 4-4-0 mark in such contests. 

STARS
Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Jamie Benn - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Philip Larsen - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Adam Pardy

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Injuries: Mark Fistric (abdominal strain)

Scratches: Jordie Benn, Ryan Garbutt, Toby Petersen. Tomas Vincour

Notes: Dallas heads into Thursday's game with the Canucks two days removed from a 4-3 shootout win over the Coyotes on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center. The Stars got all three goals and every assist from their top line of Eriksson, Ribeiro and Ryder. Ryder had 2 goals in the win over Phoenix, giving him 32 for the season, a new career-high for the Newfoundland native. Dallas has already beaten the reigning Western Conference champions twice this season -- a 3-2 OT win on Feb. 26 in Dallas and a 5-2 victory on March 6 to end a perfect three-game swing through Western Canada in truly impressive fashion. Tonight's game is the third of a four-game homestand for Dallas.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 03.20.2012 / 1:48 PM

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

With nine games left, Tippett likes Coyotes' position

DALLAS -- Tonight's game between the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center is a contest with high stakes. Not only is the lead in the Pacific Division on the line, but the winner could also begin making a serious push to establish itself as a legitimate playoff team in the Western Conference.

These teams last met on Feb. 4 in Dallas and it was the Coyotes who prevailed 4-1 in a game where 10 different Phoenix players registered at least a point, including four different goal scorers. Getting similar contributions from his entire roster is something coach Dave Tippett knows has been crucial to his club's success all season long.

"Yeah, that's how we have to play. We rely on everybody throughout our lineup to contribute both defensively and offensively," Tippett said. "Usually when we have a situation where we get contributions throughout the lineup, it obviously gives us a much better chance to win."

Phoenix last played on Sunday, beating the Oilers 3-2 in a shootout in Edmonton. Wingers Radim Vrbata and Taylor Pyatt both left that game early with undisclosed injuries. Tippett termed both as game-time decisions, but did say defenseman Adrian Aucoin will miss a third straight game with a lower-body injury.

The last time these division rivals squared off, the Coyotes were beginning a run in February that would see them go 11-0-1 for the month. March hasn't been quite so kind to Phoenix, as it currently sits at 3-5-2 for the month, but Tippett sees definite signs of a turnaround with several recent positive results.

"Well, we lost a couple of games to start the month there. We were banged up and lost a couple defensemen for two weeks and our top four guys really got run down. We got into some games where we got behind early and that's not the way to play when your team's run down," Tippett said. "Lately we've been playing better. We've gotten points in three of the last four games here, so it seems like we're getting back to finding ways to win again and finding ways to get points and that's the way you're going to have to be if you're going to get yourself a spot."

But his Coyotes will be facing a Stars team that has dropped two straight to Chicago and Winnipeg by a combined score of 9-3. These back-to-back losses came after Dallas put together an 11-game point streak that vaulted them to the Pacific Division lead and the third spot in the West standings.

Like the rest of his NHL counterparts whose teams are battling for a playoff spot, Tippett is well aware of how big tonight's game is both from a divisional as well as from a playoff standpoint.

"This [playoff race] is pretty good right here. The Pacific Division, that's as tight as it's going to get," Tippett said. "We always talk about there's two ways to make the playoffs -- win your division or top eight. I never envisioned them both being so close."
   

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 03.20.2012 / 1:32 PM

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

Projected lineups for Coyotes, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for today's game between the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

COYOTES
Lauri Korpikoski - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Ray Whitney - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan
Taylor Pyatt - Boyd Gordon - Mikkel Boedker
Raffi Torres - Daymond Langkow - Gilbert Brule

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Rotislav Klesla
Michael Roszival - David Schlemko

Mike Smith
Jason LaBarbera

Scratches: Paul Bissonnette, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Michael Stone, Chris Summers

Injuries: Adrian Aucoin (lower body), Kyle Chipchura (upper body)

Notes: Phoenix heads into this game two days removed from a 3-2 shootout win at Edmonton on Sunday. Pyatt and Vrbata both left the Oilers game with undisclosed injuries and Phoenix coach Dave Tippett called them both game-time decisions for tonight. This game with Dallas will mark the end of a stretch where the Coyotes have played four straight away from home. Tippett's club is 2-1-0 in the first three games of that road swing. For the season, Phoenix is 18-14-5 on the road. One of those wins away from home came on Feb. 7 in Dallas, when the Coyotes handed the Stars a 4-1 defeat, with Vrbata contributing a goal and an assist while Whitney chipped in a pair of helpers. After a stellar February, Phoenix is just 3-5-2 over its last 10 games.

STARS

Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Jamie Benn - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Philip Larsen - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Mark Fistric

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Jordie Benn, Ryan Garbutt, Adam Pardy, Toby Petersen. Tomas Vincour

Injuries: none

Notes: After amassing an 11-game point streak, the Stars have now lost two in a row by a combined score of 9-3. Most recently, Dallas lost 4-1 to the Blackhawks at American Airlines Center. That was a game where the visitors led 1-0 just 10 seconds in thanks to an early tally by Chicago's Dave Bolland. Tonight's contest is game two in a four-game homestand for the Stars, who after this stretch will have just two home games remaining. Veterans Dvorak and Souray both return to the lineup tonight after missing seven games combined with lower-body injuries.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 03.20.2012 / 12:58 PM

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

Full-strength Stars look to right ship vs. Coyotes

DALLAS -- For the first time since early February, the Dallas Stars (39-28-5, 83 points) have everyone healthy with veteran winger Radek Dvorak and defenseman Sheldon Souray returning to the ice for tonight's game with the Phoenix Coyotes (36-26-11, 83 points), a contest at American Airlines Center for the lead in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

This is the same Phoenix team that Dallas faced on Feb. 4 at the same venue and it was the Coyotes who came away with a big 4-1 win. So it's safe to say Stars first-year coach Glen Gulutzan knows what to expect in the final regular-season meeting between these clubs.

"They know who they are. They know how to play to win. They know how to play to get points and they're comfortable in their own skin," Gulutzan said.

Dallas heads into tonight's contest on a two-game losing streak, having most recently lost to Chicago 4-1 on Friday. Last Wednesday, the Stars saw their 11-game point streak end at the hands of the Jets with a 5-2 loss in Winnipeg.

Despite those considerable setbacks, Gulutzan and his players aren't about to panic, especially since counting tonight, they have exactly 10 games remaining.

"Our guys are ready. We're refocused here," he said. "We're not worked up. We know there's a task at hand and we're focused on these last 10."

Dvorak will return to Dallas' third line after missing the last three games with a lower- body injury while Souray will be back in the Stars' top defensive pairing alongside fellow veteran Stephane Robidas after missing four games of his own with a similar injury.

"I feel good. Excited to come back in and be a part of what the guys are doing here and what we're trying to accomplish," Souray said. "It's always a lot more fun to step into the lineup when the games are so meaningful, just get back in it and get back to work."

Gulutzan will again start No. 1 netminder Kari Lehtonen on Tuesday. And while the Finnish-born goaltender figures to see the bulk of the action the rest of the way, rookie backup Richard Bachman figures to get at least one more start between the pipes for Dallas.

"No, we certainly have another back-to-back in a tough road swing, so we'll certainly play that by ear. There's probably one more game left on the docket for Bacher. We're not looking at this in any different way than we have the rest of the season," Gulutzan said. "We like the positioning we're in and we like what we've done after 72 games, so we're just going to continue these next 10 games the same way."
   

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 03.16.2012 / 1:28 PM

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

Stars start big homestand looking to bounce back

DALLAS -- After seeing their 11-game point streak end with a thud in a 5-2 loss at Winnipeg on Wednesday, the Dallas Stars (39-27-5, 83 points) now look to rebound as the Chicago Blackhawks (38-25-8, 84 points) visit American Airlines Center for the second time this season.

Tonight's game begins a crucial four-game homestand for Dallas, a run of games that will see the Stars also face Phoenix, Vancouver and Calgary before they head out for a four-game road trip to end the month of March. 

"That word big comes before every game for the next 11, right?" first-year Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I think the focal point is they [Chicago] are a point ahead of us here. I know they're not in our division. Two points is two points and it's going to be a real tough game."

Gulutzan wasn't hesitant in saying No. 1 netminder Kari Lehtonen would get the start not only against the Blackhawks, but also for the entire homestand.

"I think for any team right now, the goaltending becomes a real big factor," he said. "There's a big spotlight on your goalie now and the other team's goalie. Kari's rested. He's going to get tonight and he's going to get the next four games. It's important, and we feel we've got a better chance than most people because we've got Kari Lehtonen."

Lehtonen is 8-0-1 with a 1.29 goals-against-average and a .955 save percentage in his last nine starts for the Stars.

After arriving back in the Lone Star State early Thursday morning, Gulutzan gave his players a day off on Thursday before a morning skate on Friday morning at the arena.

Dallas will be without veteran winger Radek Dvorak and defenseman Sheldon Souray, who are both out with lower-body injuries. However, they should be ready to return by Tuesday, when the Stars will host the Coyotes.

"They both should be ready for Tuesday. They won't be tonight though," Gulutzan said.

And rookie defenseman Philip Larsen will be a game-time decision after suffering a knee injury in Wednesday's road loss to the Jets. Larsen did return in the second period but remains day-to-day. If he can't go, then fellow rookie Jordie Benn, older brother of Stars All-Star center Jamie Benn, will get the start.

"He'll be a game-time decision and if not, Jordie Benn will go in. We're very comfortable with Lars, but very more than capable of Jordie Benn to go in if we need him," Gulutzan said.

Some might wonder if there are any lingering effects from Wednesday's streak-ending loss to the Jets, but Stars winger Steve Ott said any such concerns are off base.

"Those games happen. I truthfully believe that. I can't even really imagine the loss as much as how good we've been playing of late in the 10 games before that," Ott said. "I think taking the confidence that we've built in the last little while will be key for tonight."
   
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 03.16.2012 / 1:08 PM

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

Crawford back in net as Blackhawks visit Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center:

BLACKHAWKS
Andrew Brunette - Patrick Kane - Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp - Marcus Kruger - Viktor Stalberg
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig - Jamal Mayers - Jimmy Hayes

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy - Johnny Oduya
Sean O'Donnell - Dylan Olsen

Corey Crawford
Carter Hutton

Injuries: Daniel Carcillo (torn ACL), Ray Emery (illness), Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Sami Lepisto (leg), Steve Montador (concussion), Jonathan Toews (concussion)

Scratches: Michael Frolik, Marcus Kruger, Brendan Morrison

Notes: Chicago heads into tonight's game after beating the Blues 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night at United Center. Crawford will start between the pipes after playing well in a 4-3 shootout win over the Blues after Ray Emery started, struggled early and was pulled by coach Joel Quenneville. Emery did not make the trip to Dallas, so the Hawks recalled Hutton from Rockford of the AHL. Chicago is 14-18-3 on the road this season and has lost its only visit to American Airlines Center this season, 2-1 in the regular season opener on Oct. 11, 2011.

STARS

Loui Eriksson - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Jamie Benn - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Adam Burish
Jake Dowell - Tom Wandell - Tomas Vincour

Mark Fistric - Stephane Robidas
Philip Larsen - Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley - Adam Pardy

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Jordie Benn, Ryan Garbutt, Toby Petersen

Injuries: Radek Dvorak (lower body), Philip Larsen (lower body), Sheldon Souray (lower body)

Notes: The Stars saw their 11-game point streak, a stretch where they went 10-0-1, end on Wednesday night in Winnipeg with a 5-2 loss to the Jets. Dallas begins a four-game homestand with tonight's visit by the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. Two current Stars, Burish and Dowell, were members of Chicago's Cup-winning team two seasons ago. These clubs last met on Feb. 23 at United Center with the Stars coming away with a 3-1 win. That victory came in the second game of their recently-concluded point streak. Larsen is a game-time decision with a lower body injury and if he can't go, fellow rookie Jordie Benn, older brother of Jamie Benn, will get the nod.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 03.10.2012 / 1:55 PM

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

Morrow, Ott returning for already surging Stars

DALLAS-- The Dallas Stars (37-26-5, 79 points) are currently on a nine-game point streak and have won four straight, but figure to get a huge boost with the likely return of captain Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott on Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks (29-29-10, 68 points).
   
Morrow has missed 18 straight games with a lower-body injury and last played Feb. 2 at San Jose while Ott had played 50 consecutive games before missing a 4-3 shootout win Thursday over the Sharks because of back spasms.
   
“Yeah, he [Morrow] is going tonight,” Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan said.”His [Ott’s] back spasms have settled down and he’s feeling good, so he’s going to be a go tonight unless something happens between here and there but he felt good this morning.”
   
Both Dallas regulars figure to return to their normal spots on the Stars’ second line with Morrow on the left and Ott on the right of a line centered by 2012 All-Star Jamie Benn.
   
“I’ve already talked to [Morrow] about that and we’re going to start him with Bennie but we’re going to manage his minutes. So we’ll change the lines up a little bit during the game. I told Brenden probably between 10 and 12 or 10 and 14 [minutes], somewhere in there for the first game in five and a half weeks,” Gulutzan said. “I told him he’s not going to PK tonight. It’s a tough one because when that guy gets in he’s 110. If he’s a one-man wrecking crew then coaches get swayed.”
   
And it’s no big surprise to hear both players say they’re chomping at the bit to return to the ice.
   
“Unless the wife makes me some pancakes or something and I have a little trouble getting up this afternoon, I think it’s thumbs up for the game. That’s never been my pre-game routine so I think we’re safe for today,” Morrow said.
   
Ott also chimed in.

“A lot better -- obviously I was pretty locked up there the last game. I hate missing games. It’s tough but I just couldn’t go,” he said. “It’s just too seized up, probably obviously from the long road trip we had. Finally got it to loosen up with a lot of rehab the last couple days and should be good enough to go barring I wake up and it’s not in spasm.”
   
However, the Stars will be without defenseman Sheldon Souray, who left the game Thursday after two periods with a lower-body injury. In his place, Adam Pardy will return to the ice after being a healthy scratch for the last seven games.
   
"[Pardy] was good. At points we were thinking of putting him back in here anyway because he played so well in that stint just with everything that was going on we didn’t do that,” Gulutzan said. “We’re glad he’s getting in now tonight and that’s why we got him, so we can win hockey games.”
   
The Stars have taken four of their first five meetings this year with the Ducks and even with their recent success, they know Anaheim and its lineup full of offensive firepower like reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry is always a club they have to be up for facing.
   
“They’ve got some good offensive players. You’ve got to always be aware when the other team’s top line and good offensive guys are out there because they can make some big plays,” Dallas rookie defenseman Philip Larsen said. “We’ve got to play our game. We know we’ve got to keep this going. We’ve got to be disciplined. They have a good team, got a good power play. It’s important to stay disciplined.”
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
First | Prev | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday