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Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 2:26 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:21 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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."

Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 1:51 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Monday, 03.10.2014 / 3:00 PM

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

Thomas to make first start for Stars vs. Blue Jackets

DALLAS -- When the Dallas Stars host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night at American Airlines Center, the Stars will not only look to extend their current winning streak to three games, but also attempt to sweep a three-game homestand.

Dallas is six days removed from a 4-2 loss to Columbus at Nationwide Arena, a game where the Stars didn't start well and found themselves down 3-0 after one period. Avoiding a repeat of those opening 20 minutes is imperative for Dallas coach Lindy Ruff.

"Like I said, I thought we were kind of half-in in the game. We really didn't engage. I thought when we engaged, we played pretty well. Fought hard to get back in the game but didn't quite get it done," Ruff said. "I thought last couple games here at home, we've done a real good of job coming out and playing hard early, like to build off of that."

Posted On Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 2:38 PM

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

Stars hope to honor Modano with win against Wild

DALLAS -- When the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars meet Saturday night at American Airlines Center, much of the attention will be focused on the pregame ceremony to retire the No. 9 of former Stars franchise icon Mike Modano.

Dallas center Jamie Benn is one of two Stars who was a teammate of Modano, and the current captain considers it an honor to have skated with such a truly incomparable player.

"Obviously, he's a special player, a big part of the Dallas Stars organization and growing hockey here in Texas," Benn said. "He's still pretty much the face of the franchise and he always will be."

Posted On Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 2:31 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 8:09 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 2:36 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 2:20 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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.

Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 1:33 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 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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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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