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Seguin's focus as regular season nears: 'Just keep building'

The Stars center looks forward to seeing game action against the Wild for the second time this preseason

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer
Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild

Tonight, 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: American Airlines Center

TV: FOX Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM

 

The skinny

Video: Montgomery on Stars returning home to face Wild

It's kind of like the dress rehearsal before the dress rehearsal tonight. The Stars return to American Airlines Center after four road preseason games and will have the full TV and radio broadcasts just like in the regular season. However, with one more preseason game remaining at home Saturday, you won't see a full lineup.

Among those who will rest tonight are Jamie Benn, John Klingberg, Esa Lindell and Ben Bishop. All four are expected to be in Sunday against the Avalanche.

Still, this will be fun. A couple of veterans will be getting their second or third preseason game, and they believe there is work to be done.

"I've only played one game so far, so I'm looking forward to this," said center Tyler Seguin.

Asked if there are specifics he is working on, Seguin said: "Just keep building, really. Last game, I felt OK. I want to win more faceoffs, work on things in the (defensive) zone, and keep shooting the puck. It's just the next step."

Seguin will center Roope Hintz and Alexander Radulov, so it will be interesting to see their chemistry. The top six could be shuffled quite a bit this season, so all of these glimpses are things fans could see during the regular season.

Jason Dickinson will center Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski on the second line, and that also will be worth watching.

 

What to watch

Video: DAL@MIN: Dowling secures OT win with breakaway tally

Corey Perry is going to confer with doctors today and we could get an update on the status of the fractured bone in his foot after the game. If he's not ready for the season opener Oct. 3, then an unproven forward is expected to be in the lineup. Among the players fighting for that spot could be Nick Caamano, Denis Gurianov and Jason Robertson, who will all be in the lineup tonight. Also battling to be one of the final forwards are Rhett Gardner, who is not in tonight, and Justin Dowling, who is.

So watching all of that will be important when it comes to making final lineup decisions.

Thomas Harley will likely go back to junior hockey soon, but he's in the lineup tonight and likely will get big minutes beside Miro Heiskanen. Just as important, Jamie Oleksiak and Andrej Sekera will be on one pairing, while Joel Hanley and Taylor Fedun will be on another, and there will be a lot of evaluations made by the coaching staff on those combinations.

 

By the numbers

Video: Hanley hopes to stand out in battle for roster spot

 

35

In 29 career games against the Minnesota Wild, Tyler Seguin has 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) and is plus-9.

 

.923

That was Anton Khudobin's save percentage last season, ranking eighth among all NHL goalies who qualified to be in the league leaders. Khudobin ranked 15th overall in save percentage at 2.57 and had a 16-17-5 record, making him one of the best backup goalies in the league.

 

42.9

That's the faceoff winning percentage last season for Jason Dickinson, who will be playing second-line center tonight. Among other depth centers for the Stars, Roope Hintz won 54.3 percent last season and Justin Dowling won 52.5 percent.

 

He said it

"Keep getting better in their habits and their details. There are a lot of areas in our game that need to continue to get better, offensively and defensively, and we're looking for the habits and details in those areas. Definitely puck possession needs to come up, that's the biggest area."

-- Stars coach Jim Montgomery when asked what he wants to see from his more established players in the sixth preseason game.

 

Projected Stars lineup

Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Jason Robertson - Jason Dickinson - Joe Pavelski

Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Denis Gurianov - Justin Dowling - Nick Caamano

Miro Heiskanen - Thomas Harley

Jamie Oleksiak - Andrej Sekera

Joel Hanley - Taylor Fedun

Anton Khudobin

Ben Bishop

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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