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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 2:54 PM

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

Stars hoping home crowd helps turn tide of series

DALLAS -- It has been nearly six full years since the Dallas Stars last hosted a Stanley Cup Playoff game at American Airlines Center.

So when the Stars take the ice Monday for Game 3 of their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, KDOC, TXA 21), a series they currently trail 2-0, they are expecting a raucous atmosphere.

Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski knows a thing or two about playing in front of a great home crowd in the postseason from his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he was part of their Stanley Cup-winning team in 2009, and he expects a similar vibe Monday evening in downtown Dallas.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 4:35 PM

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

Stars' Dillon skates, but ruled out for Game 3

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon will not play in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round Series against the Anaheim Ducks (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, KDOC, TXA 21) at American Airlines Center. Dillon, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, skated before practice Sunday morning but isn't ready.

The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

"[He] skated this morning for just a short period of time, [he's] better," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "[He] may have a chance to skate with the team [Monday], which we're advancing, but he won't be ready to play."

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Posted On Friday, 04.11.2014 / 2:22 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Depleted Blues piece together lineup to face Stars

DALLAS -- The St. Louis Blues not only lost 4-2 at the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night and fell out of first place in the Central Division, but the Blues are also down three players -- right wing T.J. Oshie (upper-body injury), center Derek Roy (upper body) and left wing Vladimir Sobotka (lower body) -- after that defeat at Xcel Energy Center.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock confirmed Oshie, Roy and Sobotka would not play for St. Louis on Friday against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Hitchcock added center and captain David Backes (lower body) and left wing Brenden Morrow (lower body), a former Dallas captain, will each miss a second straight game.

"We've been able to pretty much the whole year stay healthy. We would have preferred better timing, but it is what it is and it's all about who's in now," Hitchcock said of his team being in scramble mode. "You never know, everybody goes through this. We just got it at the end of year. You got to just stay focused on the guys you have."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 3:39 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Chasing playoff spot, Stars focused on improvement

DALLAS -- After defeating the Nashville Predators 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday at American Airlines Center to move two points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with three games to play, the Dallas Stars have shifted their focus to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It's a game rescheduled from March 10, when Stars center Rich Peverley collapsed on the Dallas bench early in the first period due to a cardiac event.

Columbus and Dallas will play a full 60 minutes, but the Blue Jackets will begin with the 1-0 lead they held when the game was halted.

"There's games that I feel the way we've played in the first period we're down 1-0, but it's the first time officially we're down 1-0," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of trailing from the opening puck drop.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 2:47 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars return home looking to control destiny

DALLAS -- With four regular-season games remaining, the Dallas Stars enter Tuesday one point ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As the Stars begin a three-game homestand Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, coach Lindy Ruff would like to see his team maintain control of its destiny.

Dallas (38-29-11, 87 points) is 8-1-2 at home since Jan. 30, and after going 3-2-0 during a five-game road trip, Ruff is happy to be returning to familiar surroundings.

"We've played well here of late and played some real good hockey. If you asked me if I wanted to play at home or on the road, I'd pick home," Ruff said.

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 1:21 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars look to continue playoff push against Nashville

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are 7-1-2 in their past 10 games at American Airlines Center and would like to continue that trend on Friday against the Nashville Predators.

Dallas (34-27-11, 79 points) is currently five points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the Western Conference's final wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, although the Stars have two games in hand.

They will be minus left wing Erik Cole, who will miss a fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. And it appears fellow left wing Ray Whitney, who missed practice on Thursday with an illness, will be a game-time decision.

"We're going to dress an extra guy," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after the morning skate. "[Whitney playing is] depending on if he gets a good meal in him and feels well tonight; energy level's a big deal. He wasn't feeling well yesterday and was sick, but is feeling a lot better today."

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Posted On Monday, 03.24.2014 / 2:42 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars seeking points, not revenge, as they host Jets

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are eight days removed from a 7-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. However, as the Jets and Stars face each other again Monday at American Airlines Center, revenge will not be the goal of the Dallas players.

"Points are so important that the games within the game are overrated at this point in the year," Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "It's more about points and playing the way we're supposed to play. At the end of the night if you do that you have a good chance of winning."

Dallas beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Saturday to snap a four-game winless streak, and the Stars are 6-1-1 in their past eight home games, a trend coach Lindy Ruff would like to see continue.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 2:26 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Horcoff returns for Stars against Ottawa

DALLAS -- After missing the past four games with a broken finger, Dallas Stars center Shawn Horcoff will return to the ice on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators at American Airlines Center.

"It looks like he's going to play," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said in a short pregame media session.

Horcoff will likely center Dallas' fourth line alongside left wing Ray Whitney and rookie right wing Valeri Nichushkin. While Horcoff will play, veteran left wing Erik Cole, who did not practice on Friday, and rookie right wing Alex Chiasson, who left practice early, will be game-time decisions.

After practice on Friday, Ruff said Cole was fine and that he was just given a maintenance day. But Chiasson left the practice rink early with an undisclosed injury.

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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:21 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars face Flames without centers Eakin, Horcoff

DALLAS -- In what already has been an eventful week for the Dallas Stars, coach Lindy Ruff now has injuries to two centers to contend with in advance of a game Friday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.

Cody Eakin and Shawn Horcoff are out after being struck by pucks earlier in the week. Eakin's injury occurred during a 3-2 overtime win at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, and Horcoff was injured in practice Thursday.

"Both won't play," Ruff said. "[Eakin] is day-to-day. Hopefully he'll play in Winnipeg [on Sunday]. Shawn might be a little bit longer."

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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 1:51 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars' Lehtonen faces shots, could return Sunday

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen faced shots from teammates during the morning skate in advance of the game Friday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.

It was the first time Lehtonen faced shots since sustaining a concussion in the third period of a 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

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