While we all love the top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp generating all of the offense these last few games, Ruff and company recognize that this trio will see tough matchups tonight against a fairly stacked team. The scoring depth needs to show up big tonight.
That, combined with the great play of rookie Mattias Janmark, has led to a little rearranging of lines today for the Stars:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky
Vernon Fiddler - Radek Faksa - Colton Sceviour
That second line oozes puck possession and has the potential to be very, very lethal tonight. It will be interesting to see how the Pens matchup against them while trying to contain the top line that is absolutely on fire right now.
No changes on the defensive pairings, though there's no indication of whether the Jokipakka/Benn duo comes out tonight to get the Nemeth/Oleksiak duo some in-game action for the first time this season. Seems as though we might have to wait a little longer to see that pairing, as Ruff hasn't changed that much with the team in winning mode on this road trip. Defensive pairings at morning skate were:
Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak
Antti Niemi gets the start in net, as anticipated. He did shut out the Pens on opening night, and looked really solid versus the Flyers on Tuesday night. We can anticipate Kari Lehtonen getting the start on Saturday on American Airlines Center ice when the Stars return home to take on the Florida Panthers once again.
The Stars have won five of the last six contests with the Penguins and have won three straight. Will they extend the winning streak to four straight tonight?
It seems as though Curtis McKenzie's injury finally has a time frame on it. The forward will miss the next few weeks while he heals from a "lower body injury" which unofficially is a hip issue.
Stars GM Jim Nill said Curtis McKenzie is expected to be out 2-3 weeks.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 22, 2015
Might be one of the best pieces of news today.
They see me rolling....
- The Stars are currently on a four game win streak, the second longest win streak in the league behind the Montreal Canadiens (won seven straight). The New York Islanders have also won four in a row.
- Jamie Benn leads the league in goals (6) and sits second in points (10), tied with linemate Seguin, and one point behind the leader David Krejci (11).
- Tyler Seguin has six assists so far this season, just two behind the NHL lead of eight (held by Erik Karlsson of Ottawa and Martin Hanzal of Arizona).
- The Dallas Stars currently have the third highest power play (30%) and the eighth best penalty kill (86.7%) in the league. They've scored six total power play goals so far this season, second highest in the league behind the Boston Bruins.
- In six games played, the Stars have allowed just two goals in the first period (only Montreal and Nashville have allowed fewer, with 0 each).