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Stars Looking Forward to Home Opener Friday vs. Bruins

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

The Stars will host the Boston Bruins in Dallas’ Home Opener this Friday at American Airlines Center (FSN Southwest, News/Talk 820 WBAP).

Practice Interviews: (700K )

Home openers are always special and having an original six team in town certainly helps make it an even better night to start the home portion of the schedule.

“You want to get things going, and no matter what we need a good start,” said Stars Head Coach Dave Tippett. “We have been a very good home team, and we want to continue to establish that. It starts (Friday).”

It’s an exciting night for both the team and the fans.

“I think the beginning of the year pushes the emotion up,” said Tippett. “I think your home fans generate a lot of emotion for you. I think that is a factor. I also think the players are very excited to get the year going, whether home or on the road.”

Dallas is looking to bounce back from a tough 4-3 loss on Wednesday night in Colorado.

“There were some positive parts of the game (on Wednesday), and at times I thought we carried the play of the game,” said Tippett. “But then we had some breakouts that ended up in our net. We can do more to create opportunities for ourselves. We need to work hard. There are situations were we could have more poise with the puck, and situations to create better plays. There were times we played well, but there were also times they made us pay for mistakes we made.”

Defenseman Matt Niskanen made his NHL debut on Wednesday night and the head coach was impressed.

“(Niskanen) played very solid,” he said. “He made a lot of nice little subtle plays, that I think go unnoticed. They are the plays that move the game along. He was very solid.”

Good tickets still remain for Friday’s Home Opener vs. Boston. Click here to get your tickets now.

Morrow OK After Scare Wednesday Night
Captain Brenden Morrow got a little scare when he lost his balance in the corner and ended up taking the back of Brent Clark’s skate boot in the mouth. Morrow didn’t know how bad it was but headed straight to the dressing room to be evaluated.

“I was pretty lucky; it could have been a lot worse,” said Morrow. “I got to see the hit for the first time (Thursday) morning. But I feel pretty good today.”

“It looked like Brendan got hit pretty bad last night,” said Tippett. “His teeth got bent and rearranged a little bit, but other than that I think he’s fine.”

Smith to See Action Soon
Dallas turns right around after Boston and flies to Nashville to take on the Predators on Saturday night. Tippett said that Mike Smith should see his first action of the season soon.

“I would say we will use both of our goalies this weekend. We need to get Smitty up and going, we will figure out at what point he’s going to go.”

Smith, entering his second full season with the Stars, was named to the NHL All-Rookie team last year. Tippett and the entire team have full confidence in his abilities to win when called upon to play.

“First and foremost, your goaltender has got to earn the respect of his team, that when he goes on the ice they feel like they have every chance to win and Smitty has done that, both goaltenders have done that,” said Tippett. “That is a very positive thing. He wants to compete for that job, Smitty is pushing, and every chance he gets to push harder, he wants to do it.”

Injury Update
Tippett said that defenseman Niklas Grossman (shoulder) is progressing but is not expected to be ready for either of the games this weekend. Forward Mike Ribeiro (ankle) has improved and skated with the team on Thursday but remains day-to-day.

“(Ribeiro was) much better than anticipated,” said Tippett. “Today we talked about him skating 15-20 minutes on his own, but he felt he really wanted to start the practice with us. We were going to keep him out of contact drills, but he ended up going through the whole practice. That’s a good sign. He will continue to skate everyday, and we will monitor him day by day. I¹m glad he’s out there.”
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