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Camp Notes: Spezza Notches Shootout Winner in Scrimmage

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars wrapped up the Fort Worth portion of their training camp with a scrimmage Sunday morning, and Jason Spezza scored the only goal of the shootout as Team Green defeated Team White, 4-3.

Spezza skated in on net, slowed down and then wristed the puck past Team White goaltender Anders Lindback for the winning goal.

“I’ve got a couple options I go with,” said Spezza. “I come in, slowdown and then I’ve got a couple things I like to do. I’ll leave it at that and see how it works out this year.”

Team Green goaltender Jack Campbell stopped Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Erik Cole in the shootout to earn the victory in net.

Travis Morin, Radek Faksa and Brendan Ranford scored in regulation for Team Green. Seguin scored two goals, both slick tallies off the rush, and Patrick Eaves scored the other regulation goal for Team White.

“I thought the scrimmage was terrific. It had a lot of speed,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “There were some real good saves. I thought Lehts (Kari Lehtonen) made a couple real big saves. On the attack, Tyler had a real good day. He skated well and shot the puck well.”

The two teams played three 18-minute periods with the final eight minutes of the third period played four-on-four. Power plays in the game ran for one minute. It was the final of three scrimmages over the first three days, and Ruff said he liked what he saw.

“I thought the games had real good pace to them,” Ruff said. “They were paying attention to playing in both zones. Even today’s game, not a lot of odd-numbered situations, not a lot of stupid or crazy penalties. I thought the players worked hard.”

Preseason opener Monday

The Stars open preseason play Monday, taking on the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center. Monday’s game is the first of six preseason games for the Stars and coach Lindy Ruff said he and his staff will give a lot of players looks early on in the schedule.

“We are going to try to get a look at a lot more players this year than we did last year due to the fact that [the] Texas [Stars] had such a good year,” Ruff said. “In all likelihood you’ll see a set of six defensemen on Monday night and a completely different set on Wednesday night. These first couple games we are going to try to give a lot of different players a look for the years that they had. And, for the most part, everybody has had a pretty good camp.”

Ruff said he’ll play one of the Stars top forward pairs – either Tyler Seguin/Jamie Benn or Jason Spezza/Ales Hemsky – in the first game and the other in the next one. He appeared to be leaning towards Spezza and Hemsky for Monday night.

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who was expected to play Monday, is probably out after getting hit in the ear during Sunday’s scrimmage.

Notes: Spezza on first Dallas Stars camp

*Jason Spezza has been through plenty of NHL training camps during his career, but this is the first time he’s attending a camp not run by the Ottawa Senators.

“It’s been different. It’s been nice,” Spezza said. “It’s a little more low profile. I just enjoy time with the guys. I like that we got away for a few days to start. For me, my role here is totally different here than it was in Ottawa. I can just try to find my own way here and help some young guys out along the way, but it is definitely a change. I am embracing it for sure.”

*Stars coach Lindy Ruff was asked to assess the camp of defenseman Julius Honka, the team’s first round pick in this summer’s draft.

“I thought he has done a nice job. He’s probably exceeded my expectations,” Ruff said. “He’s really skated well. Physically, he’s handled the stronger players. He’s had a good three days.”

Scrimmage lineups

TEAM WHITE

Jamie BennTyler SeguinRyan Garbutt
Patrick EavesJustin DowlingErik Cole
Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerMatej Stransky

John Klingberg- Patrik Nemeth
Sergei Gonchar/Cameron GaunceKevin Connauton

Kari Lehtonen
Anders Lindback

TEAM GREEN

Antoine RousselJason SpezzaAles Hemsky
Curtis McKenzieTravis MorinBrendan Ranford
Gemel SmithRadek FaksaScott Glennie

Jyrki JokipakkaJulius Honka
Jamie Oleksiak/Derek Meech – Maxime Fortunus

Jussi Rynnas
Jack Campbell

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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