Stars defenseman Trevor Daley has 20 stitches in his swollen cheek after getting hit in the face with a puck in Wednesday’s game against Columbus. That made smiling hard, but Daley was beaming after the Stars clinched a playoff spot with Friday’s 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.
“I’m having trouble smiling and I just can’t stop smiling right now,” Daley said. “We’ve got a fun group in here. We’ve got a special group in here. We’ve got a mix of old, young. And I think everybody got a chance to step up and play tonight and be a big part of this. So it was good.”
Daley is the only player left from the last Stars team to make the playoffs, which was the 2007-08 squad.
Goaltender Kari Lehtonen hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2007, when he was an Atlanta Thrasher. This will be his first trip with the Dallas Stars.
“I am getting older and it is nice to get there,” Lehtonen said. “It’s just exciting and I don’t know how else to put it right row.”
And this will be the first trip to the Stanley Cup playoffs for Stars captain Jamie Benn.
“It means a lot, every kid dreams of playing in the playoffs and trying to win the Stanley Cup,” Benn said. “I believe we have a great group this year that can do some damage. We earned it tonight and we’ll finish that game in Phoenix and move on to Game One.”
Dillon day to day with lower body injury
Stars defensemen Brenden Dillon left Friday’s game early in the second period with a lower body injury and did not return. Stars coach Lindy Ruff did not have much of an update after the game.
“Right now he is day to day with a lower body injury,” Ruff said.
*With Friday’s 3-0 win over St. Louis, the Stars clinched the second wild card spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.
*The Stars are in the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.
*The Stars outshot the Ducks 40-22. Tyler Seguin led the Stars with 11 shots on goal. Jamie Benn had six shots on goal.
*The Stars were 1-5 on the power play and were 2-2 on the penalty kill.
*Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 shots for his fifth shutout of the season and 27th of his career.
*Trevor Daley led the Stars with 28:31 of ice time in the game.
*The Stars were 3-1-1 against the Blues this season.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Erik Cole – Dustin Jeffrey – Alex Chiasson
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Patrik Nemeth – Sergei Gonchar
Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Aaron Rome
Injured: Ray Whitney (lower body), Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat)
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.