The Dallas Stars practiced for about an hour Friday morning as they prepared to head to Nashville, where they will take on the Predators Saturday night.
Not practicing was center Tyler Seguin, who sat out due to illness. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Seguin should be ready to play Saturday.
“Not feeling well. We have a little bit of that going around,” Ruff said. “He could have skated, but we just decided to keep him off. … He should be good to go for tomorrow.”
With Seguin not practicing, Ruff juggled his forward lines for practice. Among the moves was to put Erik Cole back on the second line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. Cole had played on that line during most of the preseason but was a healthy scratch Thursday night after being a late to a team practice on Monday. Ruff said it was still up in the air if Cole would play on that line Saturday night in Nashville.
“It’s a possibility. I haven’t made that decision yet,” Ruff said. “Obviously, with Tyler out of the lineup for practice, we put some pieces back.”
Saturday’s game against the Predators kicks off a stretch of three straight on the road for the Stars. They’ll play in Nashville, return home for a practice and then head out again for games at Columbus and Pittsburgh.
“I think it’s great for a team with some new faces to get out on the road,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “Everyone going out for a bite to eat, getting on the plane together. Just getting to know everyone a little bit more. I think you can bond as a team that way. If we can have a lot more fan turnouts like we did last night, playing at home is going to be awesome for us and something we can feed off. Getting used to playing on the road and that atmosphere is going to be good.”
*Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he was impressed with his team’s play in Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago. One area he’d like to see improve as the team hits the road for three straight is in the special teams department. The Stars were 1-6 on the power play and 4-5 on the penalty kill in game one.
“They were OK,” Ruff said. “We had a power play goal and we had a big kill, but we gave up a goal on the kill that allowed them to tie it. Nashville has a big guy (Shea Weber) on the backend that bombs it back there. It’s been one of their strengths, and it is going to be a focus for us. Last year, we went in there and it was a power play goal late in the first in a game we were dominating, and they took over. We know what they can present when it comes to special teams.”
*Ruff said by his count, the scoring chances were 23-11 in favor of the Stars in Thursday night’s game, and that the Stars limited Chicago to three scoring chances through the first two periods.
Stars practice lineup
With Tyler Seguin (illness) not practicing, Shawn Horcoff centered the top line in practice on Friday. Here’s how the Stars lined up in Friday’s session.
Jamie Benn – Shawn Horcoff – Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Patrick Eaves – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Patrick Nemeth
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.