The Dallas Stars held their third camp scrimmage Monday afternoon and, for the first time, captain Jamie Benn was among the skaters. Benn, who is coming off surgery on both his hips this offseason, was held out of the first two scrimmages.
“Not bad,” Benn said when asked how he felt during the scrimmage. “The first period was kind of a feeling out and then felt better skating overall. It was much better in the second and third.
Benn threw a hit on the first shift of the scrimmage, scored a goal in the second period and then had a nice assist on a Jason Spezza goal as the two sides played three-on-three in the final part of the third period.
“Real good,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’s been working really hard, the skates have been going well, and the practices have looked good. I thought he skated really well out there.”
Benn said he would like to get in one or two of the final preseason games. If this were the playoffs, Benn could play. But this isn’t the playoffs, so the Stars and Benn will take their time.
“We made a plan right after the surgery, and we’ve been following that plan and that process,” Benn said. “We are right where we want to be right now.”
Also taking part in his first scrimmage of the camp was forward Ales Hemsky, who also is coming off hip surgery during the offseason.
“Not bad,” Hemsky said about his first scrimmage. “It’s a little different than the first couple practices with the team. Overall, it felt pretty good. Stiffened up a little bit in the middle of the game, but it actually went better than I thought.”
Like Benn, Hemksy said he expects to be ready when the Stars open the regular season Oct. 8 against Pittsburgh at American Airlines Center.
“That’s why I stayed [in Dallas] the whole summer,” Hemsky said. “We do everything we can to get ready for the season. That’s our goal.”
Goals aplenty in the scrimmage
There were plenty of goals in Monday’s scrimmage at Cedar Park Center as Team Green defeated Team White, 7-6.
“I thought it was loose today compared to the previous days,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “For me, the third or fourth day of camp and the scrimmage tends to become about scoring a little bit more. I thought tremendous speed at the start of that game, speed you can’t defend against. We did some things with the puck that I don’t like and I am going to try to tighten that up over the next couple days.”
Goals scorers for Team Green: Cole Ully (2), Travis Morin (2), Curtis McKenzie, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza
Goal scorers for Team White: Tyler Seguin, Vernon Fiddler (penalty shot), Jason Demers, Remi Elie, Emil Molin, Mads Eller
Team Green goaltenders: Antti Niemi made seven saves on 11 shots; John Muse made six saves on eight shots
Team White goaltenders: Jack Campbell made 12 saves on 16 shots; Maxime Lagace made seven saves on ten shots
Kids catching Lindy’s eye
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said that every day during camp a few of the younger players catch his eye. On Monday, it was Dallas forward prospect Cole Ully, Dallas defense prospect Ludwig Bystrom and Texas Stars defenseman Matt Mangene.
“Today, that Mangene kid from a standpoint of moving with the puck and doing some good stuff,” Ruff said. “Ully is a dynamic scorer. I’ve seen enough of him now that, I swear, he is going to score. There are probably three of four guys every day. Bystrom for me today started the game so well and did so many good things. Somebody always jumps out, but it is whether they can maintain it.”
*Forward Patrick Eaves was a candidate to play in Tuesday’s preseason opener but he probably won’t play after getting hit with a puck in Monday’s scrimmage. “Eaves took a shot in the ribs today, and he is pretty sore,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “It doesn’t look like it is anything serious.”
*Ruff said he expects to go with a mostly young lineup for Tuesday’s preseason opener at Florida. “Tomorrow will be a lot on the young side, we’ll try to get other young guys in at St. Louis [Thursday] and the lineups will get stronger as the preseason goes on,” Ruff said.
*Forward Travis Moen (knee) skated on his own prior to Monday morning’s practice session. Moen has yet to practice in training camp.
Team Green (scrimmage)
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Colton Sceviour
Curtis McKenzie – Radek Faksa – Ales Hemsky
Gemel Smith – Travis Morin – Cole Ully
Jordie Benn – John Klingberg
Patrik Nemeth – Stephen Johns
Ludwig Bystrom – Matt Mangene
Team White (scrimmage)
Antoine Roussel – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Remi Elie – Justin Dowling – Matej Stransky
Brandon Magee – Vernon Fiddler – Mads Eller/Emil Molin
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Esa Lindell – Jamie Oleksiak
Brennan Evans – Aaron Haydon
Brendan Ranford – Cody Eakin – Branden Troock/Derek Hulak
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Dickinson – Patrick Eaves
Mattias Janmark – Devin Shore – Taylor Peters
Alex Goligoski – Jyrki Jokipakka
Mattias Backman – Jesse Blacker
Alex Peters – Julius Honka
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.