If the biggest question for the Dallas Stars entering this season is the quality of the goaltending they will receive, some reassuring news was delivered at Saturday's team scrimmage.
With Groups A and C working in an early afternoon scrimmage, Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi faced off as starting goaltenders and both looked very solid. They each played the first half of the scrimmage and held both sides off the scoresheet, with Lehtonen stopping 14 shots as part of Team A, facing players like Valeri Nichushkin, Jason Spezza and John Klingberg, and Niemi stopping 10 shots on Team C from opponents like Patrick Eaves, Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski.
When the starters left and backups Philippe Desrosiers and John Muse came in net, the scoring started in earnest. Colton Sceviour scored twice for Team C, including the game winner, and Stephen Johns, Cole Ully, Devin Shore and Taylor Peters also scored goals in the regulation portion of play.
The teams also worked on some 3-on-3 overtime, and I'll let this Tweet from Mike Heika tell the story.
Stars trying 3-on-3 OT. Spezza-Klingberg-Nichushkin vs. Eakin-Eaves-Goligoski. Eaves scores 16 seconds in.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) September 19, 2015
Those are some lovely 3-on-3 lines even without arguably the biggest offensive threats available.
There's some Persiscope video (which is usually only available for a few days, so watch it now if you want to see) of the 3-on-3 session. Here is Sean Shapiro's video of the only goal of the overtime, and here is Mark Stepneski's longer video of a good chunk of the 3-on-3.
Heika also reported some of the notable defensive pairs, which included Jordie Benn and John Klingberg, Alex Goligoski and Jyrki Jokipakka, and Patrick Nemeth and Matt Mangene.
Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky, who are parts of Groups A and C respectively, were held out of the scrimmage and practiced earlier in the day with Group B. Not only was that to give the duo a little additional recovery time, but it had the side benefit of allowing Benn to practice in the group that features both Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp. Lindy Ruff ran the three as a line at times during the practice, and while it is far too early to be reading into line combinations, that one does make you sit up and take notice.
Benn and Hemsky will also be held out of tomorrow's Green and White scrimmage, which is not a surprise given comments from general manager Jim Nill earlier in camp. Both men are on track to return from offseason hip surgery around the start of the season, but the team wants to be cautious working both back into full play. Nill said the goal is to get both into some of the final preseason games.
The Green vs. White scrimmage is a ticketed event rather than open to the public like the other sessions.