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Stars' Ryder ready to face Bruins

by Steve Hunt
DALLAS -- The last time the Dallas Stars faced the Boston Bruins, it was on Feb. 3 in Boston and the Bruins came away with a 6-3 win. That defeat was a costly one for Dallas as they lost three players to injuries and the Stars went 1-6-1 in the eight games after the setback.

Dallas winger Adam Burish was one of the players who left that game injured, but he won’t go so far as to say there is any lingering bad blood from he and his teammates directed toward the reigning Stanley Cup champion Bruins.

“I guess the thing I remember most [about that game] is we got spanked. It just wasn’t even a close hockey game. We never really had a chance,” Burish said. “I think we got within two goals one time but they scored three pretty quick.”

Bruins center Gregory Campbell agrees there isn’t any bad blood left over from last season’s match-up or from any of the clubs’ previous meetings.

“Honestly, I don’t think too many guys have put too much thought into what happened last year. Two of the guys that were involved in that are not even on the team anymore,” Campbell said. “For us and for them, I think the most important thing is winning the game.”

Stars captain Brenden Morrow adopted a different approach when asked what he remembered from his club’s last meeting with Boston, issuing a simple, two-word, deadpan response of “We lost.”

Dallas has dropped two straight while the Bruins head into the contest tonight on a seven-game winning streak, a run where they have outscored their opponents 32-8 and Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan knows what to expect from the reigning champs in tonight’s contest.

“They’re a solid team. You look at their goals against. You look at their penalty kill. You look at their 5-on-5 game. You look at their team toughness and team speed. They’ve got everything,” Gulutzan said. “That’s why they won last year. I think it’s a really good measure for us as a team that’s trying to develop an identity.

For Stars winger Michael Ryder, who was with the Bruins for the last three seasons before coming to Dallas last summer as a free agent, facing his former club figures to be an interesting experience for the 31-year-old forward. Ryder signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Stars in July after winning the Cup with the Bruins.

“It’s going to be a little different, playing against these guys but it’s just another hockey game,” Ryder said. “It’s going to be odd playing against them but I’m here now and we’re trying to get the win.”

But whether there is bad blood between these teams or not, the contest tonight will be played in front of a packed American Airlines Center, a big plus for the Dallas players.

“I think the energy that will come from the game tonight will come from playing against the Stanley Cup champs. They embarrassed us last year. They beat the hell out of us last year,” Burish said. “We’ve got a full building tonight. It’s New Year’s Eve. That’s more of where the excitement’s going to come from rather than let’s get revenge. This is the Cup champs, sold-out building New Year’s Eve. Let’s have a good one.”

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