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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 2:31 PM

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

Matthias to debut for Canucks, Thomas joins Stars

DALLAS -- When the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars square off at American Airlines Center on Thursday night, each team will have at least one new face on its roster.

For Vancouver, which lost 1-0 at the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday and is 1-9-1 over its past 11 games, those new faces will be center Shawn Matthias and goaltender Jacob Markstrom, both acquired in the trade with the Florida Panthers on Wednesday that sent Roberto Luongo and Steven Anthony to the Panthers.

Matthias will likely slot into centering the Canucks' third line alongside Tom Sestito and David Booth, and Vancouver coach John Tortorella likes the skill set his new centerman provides.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 8:09 PM

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

Dillon returns for Stars vs. Sabres

DALLAS -- After missing a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon returned to the ice on Monday against the Buffalo Sabres at American Airlines Center.

Dillon missed the game Saturday with a lower-body injury, the first he had missed all season for Dallas. He participated in the morning skate on Monday without issue, but was called a game-time decision by Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 2:36 PM

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

Sabres' Moulson in lineup; Stars' Ruff goes for 600

DALLAS -- Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson did not participate in an optional morning skate Monday morning at American Airlines Center. However, Moulson, an ongoing subject of trade speculation ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday, will play his customary role on Buffalo's first line against the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

"The vast majority of the time we have optional skates in pregame skates and guys consider their options, so [Moulson] felt it'd be better if he didn't go back out there today," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said.

Joining Moulson on the top line will be center Tyler Ennis, who has missed the Sabres' past two games with general body soreness.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 2:20 PM

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

Stars look to continue strong run post-Olympics

DALLAS -- Before a 19-day break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Dallas Stars were on a good run, going 6-1-2 over their final nine games. Dallas returns to the ice Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes at American Airlines Center and Lindy Ruff's club is looking to continue that run in their final game of February.

"Yeah, I said the only disappointment this morning is we've got to wait until tonight to play," Ruff said after the morning skate. "It's great to be back. The guys sense the importance of these coming games and they've worked hard the past seven, eight days to be ready."

Ruff is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairings the same from a 2-1 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 8 in Dallas' final game before the break. Kari Lehtonen will start his fourth consecutive game in goal for the Stars.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 1:33 PM

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

Coyotes, Stars hope to enter Olympic break with win

DALLAS -- The Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars share a common goal in their final game before the NHL breaks for the 2014 Sochi Olympics: win on Saturday at American Airlines Center.

The Coyotes have a bit of momentum after blanking the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 Friday night in Glendale, Chicago's first time being shut out in 127 games. That victory, which featured an appearance by 10 members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle on Ice" team, was watched intently by Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

"I don't think Chicago was ready to play. I thought Phoenix really dominated the game. They [Chicago] had a little bit of a push back late," Ruff said.

Dallas is 5-1-2 in its past eight games and won 3-1 in Glendale on Tuesday to close out a three-game road trip that saw the Stars take five of a possible six points. So Ruff knows exactly what to expect from his second matchup with the Coyotes in four days.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 2:07 PM

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

Stars seek rebound effort against desperate Devils

DALLAS -- Three days after seeing their three-game winning streak end, the Dallas Stars look to rebound against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at American Airlines Center.

Dallas lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Monday night to end the streak, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff knows if his club is to find a win against the Devils, a team that beat them 1-0 in New Jersey on Jan. 9, the formula is simple.

"They're a tough team to play against," Ruff said. "They take a lot of pride in that. This game is about creating, it's about defending, and they're a tough team to get chances against. They don't give up a lot of shots and they don't take a lot of penalties. I like the way they play. I just think nine times out of 10 they're not going to beat themselves."

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.27.2014 / 2:34 PM

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

Stars look to extend winning streak to four

DALLAS -- It was nearly one week ago that Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff called a closed-door meeting with his players, a meeting also attended by Dallas general manager Jim Nill. And since that meeting last Tuesday, which came just hours after Dallas lost 4-1 at the Nashville Predators, the Stars have won three straight by outscoring the Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins by a total of 14-1.

Dallas has another challenge looming Monday when the Colorado Avalanche visit American Airlines Center.

One reason why the Stars have started to surge is because their power play is firing on all cylinders. In their past seven games they are 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) on the power play, a welcome sight for a team that has struggled with the man advantage for much of the season.

"I think our execution is better," Ruff said. "Our finish has been better. We've had a couple power plays where it's only been one chance but we've put that one in. I think lately our entries have been real good, getting in the zone, setting up and getting that first opportunity or trying to score off the rush."


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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 2:38 PM

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

Stars, Penguins each seek three-game winning streak

DALLAS -- Two teams that have scored 11 goals in winning their past two games meet Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars square off at American Airlines Center.

Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 in January and the Penguins have won four of their past five, leading coach Dan Bylsma to keep his lines largely intact from recent wins against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday and New York Islanders on Thursday.

Bylsma is tweaking his third and fourth lines a bit, going with a third line of Taylor Pyatt, Brandon Sutter and Jayson Megna. Pittsburgh's fourth line likely consists of Tanner Glass and Craig Adams centered by Andrew Ebbett, who has missed the past 21 games due to injury.

Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net for the Penguins.


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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 2:40 PM

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

Stars look to start streak, snap Maple Leafs' run

DALLAS -- After shutting out the Minnesota Wild 4-0 on Tuesday to earn their second win of 2014, the Dallas Stars hope to build on that strong effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will hit the ice Thursday at American Airlines Center sporting a six-game winning streak.

"[They are a] real good transition team, real good speed up front," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Toronto. "Three or four of their guys can kill you on transition. Real good team at creating odd-numbered chances with their speed. Their power play is clicking. I think their goaltending right now has been as good as I've seen it in a while."

Ruff is keeping his lines intact from the win against Minnesota with one minor change to his fourth line. Rich Peverley, who centered that line Tuesday, will switch spots with left wing Shawn Horcoff.

Kari Lehtonen will start his sixth straight game in net for Dallas.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 2:24 PM

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

Stars hope meeting, top-line reunion help effort

DALLAS -- Hours after the Dallas Stars lost 4-1 at the Nashville Predators on Monday, Stars coach Lindy Ruff called a closed-door meeting in the locker room at American Airlines Center on Tuesday morning.

The meeting, which also included general manager Jim Nill, lasted for approximately 20 minutes.

"It was good," Ruff said of the meeting. "I've been through stretches like this and it's believing in your system, trusting in your system, it's being able to trust the guy next to you. The two words I look for and I want the players to dig down and grab are energy and emotion. I want to see energy and emotion [Tuesday]. And when the game's over I want them to be proud of the effort they put in, and we'll take the result after that."

The loss to the Predators extended Dallas road winless skid to five (0-4-1) and dropped the Stars to 1-8-1 in January.


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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery