Kevin Connauton made his NHL debut Thursday night, and played a solid game. Connauton, who was paired with Sergei Gonchar, logged 16:05 of ice time, had no points, two penalty minutes, a plus-two rating and he blocked four shots.
“It was good. It was nice that we were able to get the win. That was a huge plus. You always want to be in the games the team is winning,” Connauton said. “For me, it was a little bit jittery at first. It took a couple of shifts to get my feet under me, not just the nerves but it’s been in a while since I’ve seen some game action. I think overall it went pretty well, I was happy with it and I hope it is the first of many.”
Stars coach Lindy Ruff liked what he saw from the 23-year-old Connauton, who had been a healthy scratch the first eight games this season.
“Maybe a little nervous in the first period, but he settled in and that pair was pretty efficient after that,” Ruff said. “I thought Kevin started to use his legs a little bit and felt better about his game as the game went on.”
Quotable: Stars coach Lindy Ruff on the team’s defensive effort Thursday
“Better, a lot better with our sticks, a lot better with getting our bodies in lanes. Sergei (Gonchar) blocked a key opportunity late in the second. (Lane) MacDermid in the third blocked an opportunity in front. Point shots weren’t getting through near as easily as they were in the previous two games. That’s something we are going to keep working on.”
*The Stars won their third straight game at home.
*The Stars outshot the Flames 34-29. It was just the second time in nine games the Stars have outshot their opponent.
*Jamie Benn led the Stars with seven shots on goal. Alex Chiasson and Rich Peverley had 5 shots each.
*With his two goals Thursday, Benn extended his points streak to 5 games (2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points).
*With this two goals and one assist Thursday, Alex Chiasson now has 11 goals and 16 points in 16 NHL games.
*The Stars were 0-4 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill in the game.
*The Stars won 33 of 64 (52 percent) of faceoffs. Vernon Fiddler won 6 of 9 (67 percent) and Tyler Seguin won 10 of 19 (53 percent).
*Kevin Connauton and Shawn Horcoff led the Stars with four blocked shots each.
*Stephane Robidas and Brenden Dillon both were a plus-3 in the game.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney – Cody Eakin – Alex Chiasson
Valeri Nichushkin – Shawn Horcoff – Erik Cole
Lane MacDermid – Vernon Fiddler – Antoine Roussel
Brenden Dillon – Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley – Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar
Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Scratches: Alex Goligoski, Aaron Rome
Suspended: Ryan Garbutt
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.