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Spezza confident Stars' top-heavy lineup can work

by Dan Rosen

Jason Spezza isn't worried about the Dallas Stars becoming a one-line team if coach Lindy Ruff continues to use him with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Spezza cited his experience as reason No. 1 for why he thinks the Stars can make it work for the long haul with a top-heavy lineup.

"Hey, me, Heater [Dany Heatley] and Alfie [Daniel Alfredsson] played together in Ottawa and we got to the Stanley Cup Final and had a great regular season," Spezza said Monday. "If you can find a way to win games you might as well use it."

Spezza said it's too early to compare playing with Seguin and Benn to playing with Heatley and Alfredsson.

He has played only one full game with Seguin and Benn, though they combined for two goals and seven assists in that game. He played the majority of the 2006-07 season with Heatley and Alfredsson and they helped the Ottawa Senators win the Prince of Wales Trophy.

"Those guys [Seguin and Benn] are elite players and Alfie and Heater were elite players at the time, so there are some similarities and some things to draw on, but it's pretty early, very much in the infancy," Spezza said. "Me, Heater and Alfie played together for long periods of time over a lot of years, so it became second nature to us to play with each other. I don't know how long we [Spezza, Benn and Seguin] are going to stay together, that's all up in the air still. It's a little premature."

Spezza got a taste of the success he can have with Seguin and Benn in the past four periods. They've been on the ice for six of Dallas' past seven goals, including four at even strength and four in total in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Spezza and Seguin each had four-point games against the Flyers. The line is expected to stay together Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks.

"We use each other well," Spezza said. "We all have pretty good hockey IQs and we can share the puck around and we're three guys who can make plays. We try to give each other space on the ice and really spread the rink on teams. If we stay together that's what we'll try to do, use our skills together. And we're all a little bit different. It worked for a night and we'll see where it goes."


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