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Posted On Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 2:30 PM

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

At the Rink: Blues at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues renew their Central Division rivalry Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

And after the Stars lost 7-5 at the New York Islanders on Saturday night to split a two-game road trip, captain Jamie Benn is glad to be back on home ice, where Dallas is 3-2-0 this season.

"There already is a rivalry between us and St. Louis. We had some big games with them last year. We are just looking to get off to a good start here at home," Benn said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 2:24 PM

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

At the Rink: Canucks at Stars

DALLAS -- When the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars play Tuesday at American Airlines Center, two streaks will be on the line.

Vancouver, which lost 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at Rogers Arena, looks to remain unbeaten on the road, where the Canucks are 2-0-0 this season.

The Stars, who lost 6-5 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday in Dallas, still are seeking their first home win of the season (0-0-2).

Facing Dallas is a homecoming for first-year Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, who spent the past four seasons in the Stars organization, two as an assistant to former coaches Marc Crawford and Glen Gulutzan (now part of his staff in Vancouver), and the past two seasons coaching the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, the 2014 Calder Cup champions.

"Yeah, it's a special game for me. This is a good organization and I know a lot of guys in the organization, so it is a special place," Desjardins said. "So right from the start I knew when this game was going to be."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 2:50 PM

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

At the Rink: Flyers at Stars

DALLAS -- As the Philadelphia Flyers begin a three-game road trip Saturday at American Airlines Center, Flyers coach Craig Berube has a simple formula to hold the speed-laden Dallas Stars, winners of two straight, in check.

"Our team tonight needs to make them play in their own end. And to do that, we need to shoot the hockey puck. If you make them play facing their net all night, you'll be in better shape," Berube said after the morning skate. "Otherwise, if you want to make plays and turn the puck over, they're gone. They're fast and they've got 'D' that can jump up and play. They're a real good attack team with the speed."

It appears Berube is keeping his lines almost intact from the Flyers 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, but with one exception.

That's where Chris VandeVelde appears to be in line to make his season debut centering a line alongside left wing Zac Rinaldo and right wing Blair Jones.

"I get the call-up and get right in the lineup. It's pretty exciting," VandeVelde, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, said. "I'm excited to get out there."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 2:36 PM

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

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Stars

DALLAS -- After playing five games as Central Division foes last season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars know each other well. And given their recent history of playing plenty of memorable games, the season opener Thursday at American Airlines Center between them figures to add another chapter to what is a burgeoning rivalry.

"I think we've got similar teams; mobile defense, real good on the offensive end," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after morning skate. "I think they're three lines deep with their offensive talent. They've got a great goaltender. When it comes to speed we're right there with them. When it comes to their offensive creativity I think we're similar and should be a heck of a match."

Chicago heads into the season with most of their roster intact from last season. The Blackhawks did make one notable addition in center Brad Richards, who signed as a free agent in July.

"I think they just got themselves another good offensive player," Ruff said. "It's made them deeper. It's given them a third-line center that has a lot of experience, won a Cup and should help them."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 3:32 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Ducks recognize opportunity before them in Game 6

DALLAS -- The Anaheim Ducks do not want history to repeat itself heading into Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series Sunday at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW).

The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and are eager for the opportunity to advance to the second round.

"When you can close a game out, it's something you want to take advantage of, but we know how difficult it's going to be," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "They're not just going to let us take it. They have a lot of pride and they're going to play a great game in front of their home crowd, so we need to be ready for that challenge."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Beleskey a game-time decision for Ducks

DALLAS -- The Anaheim Ducks could get a huge boost in Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Sunday at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW)

Left wing Matt Beleskey, who has been out the past four games with a lower-body injury, may return.

Beleskey had a goal and an assist in Anaheim's 4-3 victory in Game 1 at Honda Center, but hasn't played since.

However, he went through morning skate Sunday without issue and appears ready to replace Emerson Etem on Anaheim's fourth line alongside left wing Devante Smith-Pelly and center Rickard Rakell.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 8:38 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Stars' Whitney relishes another shot at playoff run

FRISCO, Texas -- Being in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is definitely nothing new for Ray Whitney.

Whitney, who is in his 23rd NHL season, has been to the playoffs nine times. Before making the postseason with the Dallas Stars this season, he had appeared in the playoffs two times each with the San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes and Phoenix Coyotes and once each with the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings.

As the Western Conference First Round series between the Stars and Anaheim Ducks shifts back to Anaheim for Game 5 on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW), Whitney discussed the playoff experience.

"It's always a special time of year. You can just see it when you watch the games. You see every shift's got a little something to it and just the overall atmosphere and the crowd," Whitney, 41, said Thursday. "It's an exciting time of the year that I think people at times take for granted. You realize you don't get there every year. Once you're in there, [qualifying] turns out to be the easy part."


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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 6:55 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Stars defenseman Dillon might return for Game 5

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon will be a game-time decision for Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round series with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday at Honda Center, according to coach Lindy Ruff.

The young defenseman participated in an optional skate Thursday before the Stars departed for Anaheim.

Dillon, who was third among Stars defensemen with an average of 21:05 of ice time during the regular season, has been out since April 11, when he sustained a lower-body injury in a 3-0 playoff-clinching win against the St. Louis Blues. He has missed the past five games.

Should Dillon draw in for Game 5 (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW), it would be his debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

"If I'm going to be in, I want to be able to help the team," Dillon said. "Things are getting better and better and just kind of keeping tabs with the doctors and the medical staff. They've done a tremendous job of monitoring me and making sure I'm getting the best treatment I can."


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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 9:46 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Ducks' Robidas optimistic after second leg injury

DALLAS -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas will not need surgery after fracturing his right leg during Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars and addressed reporters for the first time since sustaining the injury Monday.

It was his second leg fracture this season; he sustained a similar injury while playing for Dallas in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 29. Robidas spent the next four months recovering before being traded to Anaheim prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.

"I knew it wasn't as bad as the first time because the first time, there's no way I was getting back up. The pain was so bad. This time wasn't as bad, but I knew something was wrong," Robidas said while the Ducks played the Stars in Game 4 at American Airlines Center. Anaheim held a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 2:35 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

Stars' Dillon reports progress, Game 5 return possible

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon will not play in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW), but could return for Game 5 on Friday at Honda Center in Anaheim.

Dillon participated in the morning skate on Wednesday with no issue and is progressing nicely in his recovery from an injury he sustained in a 3-0 win against the St. Louis Blues on April 11, the night Dallas clinched its first trip to the postseason in six years.

"Felt better, things are progressing day-by-day. Just trying to take it one step at a time and do what I can control," Dillon said Wednesday.


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Quote of the Day

The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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