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Stars-Wild Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars
Tuesday, January 24
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-20-9) lost 4-3 in overtime to Washington Saturday. The Stars led 3-1 after two periods, but the Capitals scored two power-play goals in the third to tie the game and then scored 19 seconds into overtime to hand the Stars their fourth loss in the past five games (1-3-1).

"The team gave everything they had," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "They emptied the tank. It was a disappointing loss."

Stars forward Radek Faksa suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday's game and is expected to miss at least the next two games.

Forward Tyler Seguin did not practice Monday due to illness. He is questionable for Tuesday. Forward Jamie Benn, who suffered a broken nose in Saturday's game, did not practice Monday but will play Tuesday.

Tuesday's game is the second of a six-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: C/RW Tyler Seguin (illness) is questionable. C Radek Faksa (lower body) is out. D Johnny Oduya (lower body), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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Faksa out, Seguin questionable for Tuesday

Faksa expected to miss at least two games, Seguin a question mark due to illness

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars had only eleven forwards for Monday's practice in Frisco. Jamie Benn (broken nose), Tyler Seguin (illness), Radek Faksa (lower body) were not on the ice.

Benn will play Tuesday against Minnesota, Seguin is a question mark, and Faksa is out for at least the next two games.

Faksa left Saturday's game late in the third period with the injury and was not ready for the start of overtime, but he did make it back to the bench before the game was over.

"He's going to miss a little bit of time. It looks like at least the next two games," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "It doesn't look like it is serious. That's the good news. We have [the All-Star break], so we might have got away with one there."

Seguin stayed home Monday due to the illness. The Stars will take a wait and see approach with him as far as Tuesday's game.

"It's flu-like. We'll see where he is at tomorrow," Ruff said. "It depends on what today is like, if he can eat, sleep. All that goes into if he can play."

Ruff said that Seguin could end up being a game-time decision on Tuesday.

Benn suffered a broken nose when he was caught by a high stick in Saturday's game. He left late in the second period but then returned for the third and finished the game. Ruff said he wasn't concerned about Benn's status for Tuesday after not practicing Monday.

"This was just precautionary after suffering the broken nose," Ruff said.

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Prospect Report

Forward Riley Tufte heating up in NCAA, scores three goals in two games over weekend

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars forward prospect Riley Tufte is heating up for the University of Minnesota Duluth. The Dallas first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft recorded three goals and one assist in two games over the weekend, giving him six points (four goals, two assists) in his past six games.

Tufte scored two goals, including one on the power play, in fourth-ranked Minnesota Duluth's 5-3 win over eighth-ranked North Dakota on Friday. He registered one goal and one assist in UMD's 4-0 win over North Dakota on Saturday. The three goals over the weekend gave Tufte four goals in his past four games.

"My game is starting to come to me," Tufte, a freshman, told Minnesota Duluth's official site. "The first half of the season was tough, but lately I thought I've been playing well. I'm really starting to get used to college hockey."

Tufte, who didn't record a point in his first 14 games, now has six points (four goals, two assists) in 20 games.

Tufte Stats: Minnesota Duluth (NCAA) | 20 GP | 4 G | 2 A | 6 PTS | +6 | 8 PIM

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Stars give 'everything they had' but lose in OT

Third period lead slips away in 4-3 loss to Washington

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars played the kind of game they were hoping for Saturday night against the league-leading Washington Capitals, but it only added up to one point. The Stars let a 3-1 lead slip away in the third period and then fell, 4-3, in overtime at American Airlines Center.

"We emptied the tank," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "It's a disappointing loss."

Ruff had been pressing his team to raise its compete level and the Stars delivered Saturday night, building a 3-1 lead through the first two periods in a physical battle with the Capitals. But the Stars took back-to-back penalties early in the third and Washington scored on both against Dallas' struggling penalty kill to tie the game.

Then in overtime, the Stars lost the opening faceoff, and Evgeny Kuznetsov set up Jay Beagle, who scored from close range 19 seconds into the extra period to give Washington the two points.

"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot," said Stars forward Adam Cracknell. "I don't think it was just the penalties. We kind of got away from getting the pucks in deep, and it just trickles into that. It's nice to get a point, but right now one is just not enough for us."

Cracknell, Patrick Eaves, and Jamie Benn scored goals for the Stars, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 18 of 22 shots. The Stars lost for the fourth time in the past five games (1-3-1) and are 19-20-9 on the season. They fell to 2-9 in three-on-three overtime this season.

The Capitals (31-9-6) ran their points streak to 13 games (11-0-2) and snapped a nine-game losing streak to Dallas, defeating the Stars for the first time since Oct. 25, 2008.

"It's been a long time obviously until we've won here," Beagle said. "We made a little bit of a deal of that and said let's get a win. And we did."

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Stars look to get on track with six-game homestand

Lehtonen in goal, Ritchie and McKenzie back in the lineup tonight vs. Capitals

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars open a stretch of six straight games at home when they take on the Washington Capitals tonight at American Airlines Center.

It's a big stretch of games for the Stars, who are 19-20-8 on the season and sitting five points out of a playoff spot after Friday's games.

"It's huge for us, especially the three games before the All-Star break," said Stars center Radek Faksa. "We need to get back on the track and get as many points as we can and get closer to a playoff spot."

The Stars, who are coming off a 1-2-0 road trip, are 12-7-4 at home. They posted a 3-1-1 record in their last extended homestand back in December.

"Every game is huge for us, and we've played better hockey at home," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "We've got to establish a game that allows us to win, which we've done for the most part when we are playing here. This is our building, and we want to dictate play."

They'll face a stiff challenge tonight in the Capitals, who come into tonight's game on a 12-game points streak (10-0-2). Washington has scored seven goals in both of their past two games and 54 goals over the past 11 (4.91 per game).

"We have to limit their opportunities, and we have to limit the opportunities for their better players," Ruff said. "We're going to have to play a game where if you want to look at 50-50 battles, one-on-one battles, our determination is going to have to be greater. They're a good team at that, so it is going to be a hard contest."

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Stars-Capitals Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars
Saturday, January 21
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-20-8) lost 3-0 to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn Thursday. Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 of 35 shots but the Stars, who spent almost 13 minutes of the game killing penalties, couldn't generate any offense against the Islanders and goaltender Thomas Greiss.

"I didn't think our puck battle and puck desperation was good enough," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "When you don't have the puck, you don't draw enough penalties, and we took way too many penalties including a couple careless ones. That took too many of our players out of the game."

The Stars lost for the third time in their past four games and fell to 3-6-1 in their past ten.

The Stars recalled defenseman Julius Honka from the Texas Stars (AHL) Friday and placed defenseman Johnny Oduya (lower body) on injured reserve.

The Stars, who went 1-2-0 on a three-game road trip, play their next six games at home.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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Focus on compete

Lindy Ruff stresses compete level as Stars prepare to kick off stretch of six straight games at home

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Early in Friday's practice in Frisco, Stars coach Lindy Ruff spent a lot of time in front of the whiteboard near the players' benches and just talked. Ruff's message for the day.

Compete," Ruff said. "Compete."

Ruff didn't like his team's compete in Thursday's 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn that sent the Stars home with a 1-2-0 record on their latest road trip. In particular was the Stars' late power play with the score still 1-0 and Dallas with a good opportunity to tie. But the Stars didn't, and they gave up a three-on-one shorthanded rush and then a shorthanded breakaway that Islanders captain John Tavares buried to extend the lead to 2-0.

"When we lose a battle to give up a three-on-one and then a breakaway, that's not good hockey," Ruff said. "At that time of the game, you've got to get on the right side of the puck, you've got to win your battle. You've got to be more determined that that battle is ours and put ourselves to in a position to get a point, to tie it and move on and maybe getting that second one."

But the Stars ended up with no points, losing for the third time in the past four games. Since a season-best three-game winning streak (Dec. 23-29), the Stars have gone 3-6-1 over their past ten games and dropped to 19-20-8 on the season.

"We have to put some wins together. Every game is really important," defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "We haven't come out with results, and we haven't played as well as we can to earn those results. We've had spurts of it but not consistent enough to deserve to have a better record."

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Stars recall Julius Honka from Texas

Defenseman Johnny Oduya placed on injured reserve

by Dallas Stars Staff / Press Releases

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Julius Honka from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League. The team has also placed defenseman Johnny Oduya  on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Jan. 17.

Honka, 21, has registered 21 points (5-16=21) in 30 games with Texas this season. He shares second on the club in assists (16) and ranks fourth on the club in points (21). Among team defenseman, he leads all blueliners in points, goals and assists. Honka has skated in eight games for Dallas this season, recording three assists (0-3=3) and made his NHL debut on Nov. 21 vs. Minnesota, registering an assist (0-1=1) in his first career NHL contest. 

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound native of Jyvaskyla, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Oduya, 35, ranks second on Dallas this season in blocked shots (80) and shorthanded TOI/G (2:33). The defenseman has skated in 36 games during the 2016-17 campaign and has registered seven points (1-6=7).

The 6-foot, 195-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden was signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 15, 2015.

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Stars fall to Islanders, 3-0

Lehtonen shines in goal but Stars can't generate offense in final game of road trip

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen was brilliant in Brooklyn Thursday night, but he didn't get any goal support, and the Stars fell, 3-0, to the New York Islanders at Barclays Center.

Lehtonen stopped 33 of 35 shots, including all 18 he faced while the Stars were shorthanded, in what was probably one of his best performances of the season. Only Islanders captain John Tavares scored on Lehtonen, once in the first period after a pretty move generated a great chance and then late in the third on a shorthanded breakaway.

"Kari was very good," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He gave us a great chance."

But you can't win if you don't score and the Stars came up empty against the Islanders and goaltender Thomas Greiss, who stopped 23 shots for his second consecutive shutout.

It didn't help that the Stars spent almost 13 minutes - more than one-fifth of the game - killing penalties against the Islanders, who had a 7-3 edge in power plays.

"I didn't think our puck battle and puck desperation was good enough," Ruff said. "When you don't have the puck, you don't draw enough penalties, and we took way too many penalties including a couple careless ones. That took too many of our players out of the game."

The Stars went 1-2-0 on their three-game road trip and fell to 19-20-8 on the season. They have lost three of their past four games overall and are 3-6-1 in their past ten. The Stars are 3-12-4 in games following wins, which is why they have struggled to string together victories and go on a good run.

"It's frustrating," said Stars center Jason Spezza. "We need to pick up points. We're in a dogfight, and there are a lot of teams in that pack with us. We have to win games; we have to learn how to win consecutive games. We've got to find a way to get points."

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Stars-Islanders Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at New York Islanders
Thursday, January 19
6:00 p.m.  
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-19-8) won 7-6 over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. The Stars fell behind 1-0 just 27 seconds into the game but bounced back to build a 3-1 lead after one period and a 7-3 advantage after two. They then held off a furious Rangers rally in the third to snap a two-game losing streak.

"It's nice to put some pucks in the net," said Stars forward Patrick Sharp, who scored two goals. "It's the third game in a row we've given up a quick one. Credit the power play for getting it right back and then we were able to score quickly after. It's frustrating that we need to score seven goals to win the game, but right now we'll take a win whatever way we can."

The Stars, who had lost 4-1 at Buffalo Monday, improved to 2-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Defenseman Johnny Oduya left Tuesday's game midway through the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He is out for Thursday's game.

The NHL Department of Player Safety fined Rangers forward Chris Kreider $5,000 - the maximum allowable under the CBA - for hitting Stars forward Cody Eakin with his helmet during a fight.

Thursday's game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body) is out. D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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