Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s final game of the season after being late to practice on Friday.
“We’ve got rules. Tyler won’t play. The bottom line, he broke one of the team rules, and he’s just suffering the consequence for it,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.
This isn’t the first time a Stars player has been scratched for being late to practice. Erik Cole and Cody Eakin both were scratched for the same reason. Ruff said its’ a matter of being consistent.
“I look at it no different than I’ve looked at any other player,” Ruff said. “Erik Cole missed the first game of the year and Cody Eakin missed a game. I think you have to remain consistent with it. It’s all part of the growing up process for players. Some players are probably old enough to know better. It’s a process that over the years I’ve dealt with on different teams. You learn from it, you hope the player grows from it and you move on. You don’t spend any time on it. It’s something that happens. It’ll happen again and we try to put the rules in place to help prevent it.”
Seguin, who was held out of practice on Friday, skated with the team this morning and then talked to the media.
“I kind of knew it was coming,” Seguin said. “We’re strict on our team rules. There have been other cases this year. It’s about accountability here, and I wasn’t on time for practice and I knew what the consequences were going to be. I knew I wasn’t going to be playing tonight. It’s a tough feeling not playing the last game of the year, so it’s a tough way to get sent off. It’s something I’ll live with the rest of the offseason. I am going to work hard and get ready to come back even better.”
Particularly tough for Seguin is that he won’t be able to help Stars captain Jamie Benn try to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer. Benn comes into tonight’s game one point behind Sidney Crosby and John Tavares in the NHL’s scoring race.
“That’s the biggest thing that sucks,” Seguin said. “It’s not even about me. I feel bad for Jamie just because I knew I could have helped him tonight. It’s disappointing for myself and embarrassing for myself, but it’s disappointing that I couldn’t help my captain out, as well.”
With Seguin not playing, Cody Eakin will center the top line with Benn and Patrick Eaves on his wings.
Jhonas Enroth will get the start in goal tonight against Nashville. It will be the fourth straight start for Enroth, who is coming off a 19-save shutout in Anaheim on Wednesday. Enroth has won his past three starts, stopping 75 of 79 shots.
“Jhonas has been good. He’s played well for us,” Ruff said. “I think the team in front, even the last game really pitched a strong performance. I’d hope we would come up with the same type of effort. He hasn’t made any mistakes. A few starts earlier, some pucks went through him. Now it seems like he’s catching a little bit of traction.”
Alex Goligoski didn’t skate this morning, and it appears he will miss tonight’s game with an undisclosed injury.
“He’s getting looked at today. We don’t know exactly what we’re dealing with,” Ruff said. “He’s getting a couple tests. It was a little bit of a surprise; it just popped up yesterday. He fought some injuries early in the year. We don’t know if this is along the same line or not. We’re hoping it’s something that will just go away in a few days.”
Carter Hutton will get the start in goal tonight for Nashville. The Predators will be without defensemen Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Cody Franson. Center Mike Fisher is not expected to play as well. The Predators recalled defensemen Joe Piskula from Milwaukee of the AHL.
Who: Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Cody Eakin – Patrick Eaves
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Travis Moen – Shawn Horcoff – Colton Sceviour
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Patrik Nemeth – John Klingberg
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: Tyler Seguin
Injured: Alex Goligoski (undisclosed)
Predators projected lineup
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – James Neal
Colin Wilson – Mike Santorelli – Craig Smith
Matt Cullen – Calle Jarnkrok – Viktor Stalberg
Gabriel Bourque – Paul Gaustad – Taylor Beck
Mattias Ekholm – Seth Jones
Victor Bartley – Joe Piskula
Ryan Ellis – Anton Volchenkov
Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Cody Franson (upper body), Roman Josi (lower body), Shea Weber (lower body), Eric Nystrom (lower body)
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.