Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn clicked immediately at Saturday’s scrimmage at the Fort Worth Convention Center, scoring 30 seconds in to give Team Green a 1-0 lead. They might have actually scored two goals on that shift.
Just seconds before Seguin banged home the rebound into the net, Benn appeared to score on a shot from the slot.
“I thought it might have been in, but we’ll give it to (Seguin),” said Benn.
Regardless of who scored the first goal, it was a strong showing for Benn and Seguin, who are expected to play together this season on the Stars’ top line. On Saturday, Cole lined up on the right side with Benn on left wing and Seguin at center. And the trio clicked.
“They were impressive. They made a lot of good plays, had real good speed,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I thought Tyler had a real good day. He had a good day yesterday and I thought he had an even better day today. Erik probably had his best day. They were fun to watch play.”
This was the third day of training camp, but it was the first time that Benn and Seguin had lined up together during the on-ice sessions.
“It was the first time playing with Cole on a line and Benny and I think there is some chemistry that is going to be forming, but for the first day it felt pretty good,” said Seguin.
“His hands are something pretty special,” Benn said of Seguin. “He can move in all directions and he skates so well. It’s hard keeping up with him.”
Team White had a hard time keeping up with Team Green early on in the scrimmage. After Seguin’s goal, Jamie Oleksiak scored on a first period penalty shot and Ryan Garbutt scored in the second period to put Team Green up 3-0.
Team White got back into the game on a slick goal off the rush by Valeri Nichushkin in the second and then a penalty shot goal by Cameron Gaunce in the third period, making it a 3-2 game. John Klingberg put Team Green back up by two goals, scoring off the backhand on a penalty shot. Brett Ritchie scored off the rush to pull Team White to within one goal again, but Shawn Horcoff’s empty net goal sealed the win for Team Green. Final score: 5-3.
“It was a good pace out there,” said Seguin. “It was the third game in three days for some of us out there, so obviously the fatigue started kicking in, but it was a good pace.”
Defenseman John Klingberg is expected to play in Sunday’s preseason game against St. Louis at American Airlines Center. He is then expected to head back to Sweden, where he will play for Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League this season.
Klingberg, a fifth round pick from 2010, has been impressive at both the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan and during the first three days of Stars training camp in Fort Worth.
“Klingberg’s had a good three days. He’s really good at moving the puck,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I said to (GM) Jim (Nill) – and I hate to put a lot of pressure on the kid – but he’s got some mannerisms of (Ottawa’s Erik) Karlsson, the way he skates and the way he moves the puck. He made some D zone plays that only real special players can make. He made a backhand dunk into the middle where you breakout of the zone real clean. He gets up ice really nice. He got beat on one opportunity, but he doesn’t get beat very often. For him, it’s just get mature, get stronger and become a little bit more of a physical presence.”
Stars to open preseason Sunday
The Stars will open their preseason schedule Sunday when they take on the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center. Game time is 6 p.m.
Dan Ellis and Cristopher Nilstorp are expected to be the goaltenders. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said the Stars will put a good lineup in front of the Dallas netminders.
“It will be a pretty good mix of our top guys. That top line is going to play. The defense is going to be younger,” Ruff said. “Among the forwards, for the most part, it will be all the new guys except for Rich (Peverley) obviously. It’s going to be a pretty good lineup.”
Among the young defense expected to play: Jamie Oleksiak, Kevin Connauton and John Klingberg.