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Posted On Tuesday, 01.20.2015 / 2:29 PM

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

At the Rink: Bruins at Stars

DALLAS -- When the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars hit the ice at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night, each team shares a common goal; win their final game before the start of the NHL All-Star break, which begins on Wednesday and ends on Jan. 26.

Boston (24-16-6) heads into its first meeting of the season with Dallas after a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, a defeat Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t label a wake-up call.

“We have to understand that we have to be willing to work hard every night. In my mind, they (Columbus) wanted it more than we did and we can’t allow those things to happen,” Julien said. “They (Dallas) have got a chance to get close to a playoff spot and we’re probably going to see the best out of those guys. At the end of the night, it’s which team wants it more than the other. That’s got to be us.”

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Posted On Saturday, 01.17.2015 / 1:59 PM

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

At the Rink: Capitals at Stars

DALLAS -- With veteran defenseman Trevor Daley and rookie right wing Brett Ritchie each sidelined with undisclosed injuries, Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff made some tweaks to his lineup ahead of the game at American Airlines Center on Saturday night against the Washington Capitals.

Daley, right wing Ales Hemsky and Ritchie missed practice on Friday, but Hemsky is likely to play in his customary spot on the right side of the second line alongside left wing Erik Cole and center Jason Spezza

With Daley out, David Schlemko, claimed off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 3, is the likely choice to replace Daley alongside Jamie Oleksiak in the Stars' third defensive pairing.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 2:43 PM

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

At the Rink: Jets at Stars

DALLAS -- Two nights after making 34 saves in relief of Kari Lehtonen, it appears backup goaltender Anders Lindback will start at American Airlines Center on Thursday for the Dallas Stars against the Winnipeg Jets.

Lindback was first off the ice for Dallas at morning skate and Stars coach Lindy Ruff wouldn't say if he was starting on Thursday, but Lindback said he is prepared to make his sixth start of the season.

"You prepare a little different when you know you are going to be in net. You don't stay as long on the ice (at morning skate)," Lindback said. "I try to approach it the same way because you never know when it is going to happen. You've got to be ready all the time, but obviously is a little different when you know you are going to play."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 2:56 PM

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

At the Rink: Senators at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars start a three-game homestand Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators on a four-game losing streak (0-2-2), but Dallas coach Lindy Ruff is happy to be home, where the Stars are 8-3-1 in their past 12 on home ice.

"I think it [recent home success] starts with defending," Ruff said. "When you're playing a game that's not loose and you're tight in your own end and you've got people coming back and we're not giving up easy opportunities, it's been our best hockey.

Dallas (18-16-7) captain Jamie Benn (undisclosed), center Vernon Fiddler (lower body) and center Tyler Seguin (illness) missed practice Monday but all three participated in morning skate and at least two of them will play against the Senators.

"They all seem to be doing a lot better so we'll dress an extra guy for warm-up and make sure that everybody's a full go," Ruff said. "A couple that I think ready to go and one that's still in doubt."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 3:02 PM

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

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Stars

DALLAS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars have each recently been playing some great hockey, which makes the game at American Airlines Center on Tuesday between them a must-watch.

Columbus (17-17-3) is 11-2-1 over its past 14 games and the Blue Jackets will get a nice boost as right wing Cam Atkinson, who has missed the past three games with an upper-body injury, and center Mark Letestu, out the past 28 games with a groin/abdominal issue, will both return against the Stars.

"What I'm expecting is those guys to come in and provide a spark; Cam with his speed and energy and Mark, the way he navigates and thinks his way through the game," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "They make our team better at both ends of the rink."

Atkinson will skate on the right side of the second line alongside left wing Matt Calvert and center Brandon Dubinsky. Letestu will center the fourth line, joining left wing Jeremy Morin and right wing Jared Boll.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 1:39 PM

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

At the Rink: Wild at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars had seven defensemen participate in morning skate at American Airlines Center on Saturday, and 30 minutes after skate ended, Dallas added an eighth by claiming David Schlemko off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.

“You can never have enough defensemen,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “We lost (Sergei) Gonchar (to a trade). We lost Kevin Connauton; Patrik Nemeth’s injured. We’ve lost three defensemen during the course of the season, and we needed to add some depth.”

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 2:04 PM

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

At the Rink: Coyotes at Stars

DALLAS -- The Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars will look to continue their recent form at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

Arizona (14-18-4) has won three straight and Coyotes coach Dave Tippett has seen plenty to like during this recent stretch.

"That's what we're looking at, just try to continue to play the way we have been," Tippett said. "We've gotten solid goaltending. We've defended pretty well, kept chances and goals-against down, and have given ourselves a chance to win."

Tippett is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairs identical from a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

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Posted On Monday, 12.29.2014 / 2:17 PM

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

At the Rink: Rangers at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are two days removed from their first Central Division victory, 4-3 at the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, but Dallas (15-14-5) faces another tough test at American Airlines Center on Monday against the New York Rangers, winners of eight straight.

"They play a high pace. They play high tempo. They're what we're trying to get to right now. We want to have eight straight too and play at a high pace," Stars defenseman Trevor Daley said. "It's going to be a great challenge tonight for us."

This game features the Rangers (19-10-4), who haven't lost since Dec. 6 at the Detroit Red Wings, and the NHL's top two goal scorers in New York left wing Rick Nash (23 goals, second in the League) and Dallas center Tyler Seguin (leads NHL with 25 goals).

Nash knows that the Rangers must limit the quality chances for Seguin, Stars captain Jamie Benn and veteran center Jason Spezza if they are to extend their winning streak to nine.

"For us it's eliminating our mistakes in the neutral zone and getting pucks deep. This is a team with Benn and Seguin, Spezza. All these guys are pretty big superstars that can score, so we got to limit our turnovers," Nash said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 1:39 PM

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

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Stars

DALLAS -- The Toronto Maple Leafs head into American Airlines Center on Tuesday to play the Dallas Stars on a three-game losing streak, but coach Randy Carlyle isn't calling his team desperate in its final game before the Christmas break.

"Desperation can take people out of their confidence, take confidence away," Carlyle said. "We don't want to go into the break with four losses. Who does? Who does in pro sports? We don't want to lose any games, simple as that."

Toronto lost 4-0 at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday and Dallas overcame a three-goal deficit in the second period before winning 6-5 at the Edmonton Oilers to cap a perfect road trip through Western Canada at 3-0-0. Even though the Stars have won four straight, coach Lindy Ruff is always alert for signs of a letdown, especially against the struggling Maple Leafs, who remain a potent offensive team.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 2:48 PM

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

At the Rink: Jets at Stars

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars are 4-0-1 in their past five games at American Airlines Center, but coach Lindy Ruff would like to see them break out for their first Central Division win (0-6-3) Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"Every game's important for us right now," Ruff said after the morning skate. "We took a good step in the right direction again [with a 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday]. I think it's just becoming a consistent team where we're not two steps forward and two back. We got to win games. It doesn't matter if it's Central Division. You name it, we have to win games."

Ruff is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairings identical from the win Saturday against Montreal, a victory which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Goalie Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice for Dallas and will start his second straight game and 23rd of the season.

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Quote of the Day

The fans love it, and it looked like they were having fun. It was great to see this city [Columbus]. They had been waiting a couple years for this game. They did it right.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos after the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday