The Dallas Stars will be looking for their fourth win in a row tonight, but it will be a challenge. The Chicago Blackhawks are in town to take on the Stars at American Airlines Center.
“They are the Stanley Cup champions,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “I don’t think there’s a bigger test, especially with how things are going. You want to keep it rolling, and not just be satisfied with what has happened so far.”
Both the Stars and Blackhawks have been on a roll lately. Chicago, which is 10-2-4 on the season, has points in five straight games (4-0-1). The Stars, who are 5-1-2 over their last eight games, are coming off the sweep of a three-game road trip in which they won at Ottawa, Boston and Detroit.
“We want to build off the road trip. We can’t have a let up,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We are playing a team with a lot of speed, great transition. We are really going to have to play our best game tonight.”
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“Just watching them play they’re playing a real good game. They’re playing a real strong team game. Things are happening quick. They pressure you. They’re fast. They’re quick. They attack well so I think we’ve got to be prepared for a team that is not the same team we saw last year for sure.”
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“What is he, 21, 22-years-old? He’s still a young kid. I was surprised Boston kind of gave up on him that quick, especially after a couple of years in the league. He was a high draft pick, had some good years in Boston, won a Stanley Cup there and they made it to the finals last year. You’re never really too sure what goes on, but I think I’m happy for him that he’s happy here and he’s off to a good start, so hopefully he’ll continue that.”
Defenseman Aaron Rome, who was recalled from Texas of the AHL on Friday, skated with the Stars this morning at the AAC.
Rome, who had two offseason surgeries, missed training camp and the preseason with Dallas. He had a conditioning stint with Texas in mid-October, was recalled by Dallas and then went back to the AHL a week later.
“I don’t care who you are, you need to play,” Rome said. “For me, not having training camp, going down (the first time) for conditioning and playing four games probably wasn’t enough. … It was good for me to go down there and get confident about skating, especially after surgeries. I felt better after every game. It was like my training camp.”
“He just needs to play. You need to play games,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “You need to play games at a level and even down there’s a real good level to play. You can practice all you want but if you’re not playing enough there’s only one way to get ready and it really is to play. The reason we’ve got Kevin (Connauton) down there is to do the same, is to try to keep him ready. Stay ready and be game ready.”
The Stars sent Connauton to Texas on a conditioning assignment on Friday.
Who: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Click here for channel listings)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney – Cody Eakin – Alex Chiasson
Ryan Garbutt – Shawn Horcoff – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Erik Cole
Brenden Dillon – Stephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Sergei Gonchar – Jordie Benn
Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Blackhawks projected lineup
Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad – Brandon Pirri – Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell – Andrew Shaw – Sheldon Brookbank
Brandon Bollig – Marcus Kruger – Ben Smith
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy – Michal Rozsival
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