Tyler Seguin scored two goals to lead Team White to a 5-2 win over Team Victory Green in an intrasquad scrimmage at Cedar Park Center Sunday afternoon.
Both Seguin’s goals came in the third period, including one while the two sides worked on three-on-three play.
“I was having fun,” Seguin said. “The first period and the second period, too, I felt rusty, just the timing of the game. But for day one it was good, and I think everyone felt better as the game went on. I felt better in the third.”
Jason Demers, Brandon Magee and Matej Stransky also scored for Team White. Jason Dickinson and Jyrki Jokipakka scored for Team Green.
“I like the scrimmage,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It was competitive, a lot of players skated well. It was about what I expected.”
Jokipakka had one of the slicker goals of the afternoon, scoring off a close range backhand off the rush during 3-on-3 play.
“Joki’s play, that’s a special goal,” Ruff said. “Tyler, when the game was close, had a couple opportunities. He has a dynamic shot.
“I liked the way some of our veterans played. I like the way [Patrick] Sharp skated. I liked Tyler’s skating in the game. I thought [Antoine] Roussel skated well, and Dickinson skated well inside the game. There was some stuff I expected from young defensemen that I thought were better, including [Julius] Honka. He’s moving the puck quicker, and he’s letting the puck do the work. It was a good day.”
Kari Lehtonen played the first half of the scrimmage in goal for Team Green and stopped six of nine shots. Philippe Desrosiers played the rest of the way for the Green and stopped 11 of 13. Jack Campbell played the first half for the White and stopped 11 of 13 shots. Maxime Lagace played the rest of the way and stopped all eight shots he faced.
“I thought there were some good saves. It’s hard to tell on some of the goals exactly what happened,” Ruff said. “I thought when Desrosiers went in the net he made four or five big saves right off the bat. There were some good saves out of all the netminders. There are probably a couple the goalies want back. It’s a scrimmage, and it gets a little ragged after a while.”
The goaltenders were perfect on penalty shots, stopping all five they faced. Lehtonen stopped Seguin (hit post) and Remi Elie. Desrosiers stopped Seguin. Campbell stopped Branden Troock. And Maxime Lagace stopped Valeri Nichushkin.
“I think you are always concerned when you don’t score, but you can flip it around and say you like the goaltending,” Ruff said. “It was such a good crowd here, and the fans were into it, we over handled and stickhandled. Some of the moves I would put in the B category.”
Focus on 3-on-3
The teams played 3-on-3 the final five minutes of the first and third periods of Sunday’s scrimmage. It was a focus in Sunday morning’s practice session as well. It will get a lot of attention going forward as the NHL moves to a five-minute 3-on-3 overtime this season to try to reduce the number of games that go to a shootout.
“We are going to have to do a lot of work on it,” Ruff said. “We spent a lot of time this morning just as coaches doing a walk through. All our video work today was 3-on-3. It is something we are going to try to work in almost every day of camp to make sure we are ready to be one of the better teams.”
A lot of the work being done right now is on how to defend with all the open space on the ice.
“We know we have a lot of skill and plays will be drawn up down the road, but it is going to be tricky to defend, whether we are going to do it zone or man-to-man. That was the focus today and probably the next few days,” said center Tyler Seguin.
Ruff said he was thinking zone.
“I like the zone so much better,” he said. “When we did the walk through and practiced it this morning, there weren’t any Grade A chances once you are in the zone. The chances were coming off transition.”
*The Stars have another practice session Monday morning and then a scrimmage in the afternoon at Cedar Park Center.
*The team’s first preseason game is Tuesday at Florida.
Team Victory Green (scrimmage)
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Dickinson – Patrick Eaves
Derek Hulak – Devin Shore – Brendan Ranford
Taylor Peters – Mattias Janmark – Branden Troock
Alex Goligoski – Julius Honka
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jesse Blacker
Alex Peters – Mattias Backman
Team White (scrimmage)
Remi Elie – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Antoine Roussel – Justin Dowling – Brandon Magee
Brett Pollock – Vernon Fiddler – Matej Stransky/Mads Eller
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Esa Lindell – Jamie Oleksiak
Brennan Evans – Aaron Haydon
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Colton Sceviour
Curtis McKenzie – Cody Eakin – Ales Hemsky
Gemel Smith – Travis Morin – Emil Molin
Cole Ully – Radek Faksa – Cory Kane
Defense (various pairs): John Klingberg, Jordie Benn, Patrik Nemeth, Stephen Johns, Ludwig Bystrom, Matt Mangene
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.