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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Benn & Seguin Weren't "Good Enough" in Stars' 5-3 Loss to Predators

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The Stars are "battling to stay out of third place instead of fighting to stay in first." Plus, how the Dan Hamhuis trade fell apart, and how the first McDavid-Eichel matchup worked out.

Jamie Benn was a little frustrated last night, and Paul Gaustad was DIRECTLY in his way.
Jamie Benn was a little frustrated last night, and Paul Gaustad was DIRECTLY in his way.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars' February slump came back and stayed as Our Gang left the door open for the Nashville Predators to move within eight points in the Central Division standings.

Shocking performances by two of the Stars' biggest leaders didn't help:

Stars captain Jamie Benn took a lot of the blame. He and linemate Tyler Seguin were at the center of several goals against, as Seguin finished minus-­4 and Benn minus-­3.

"I don't think it was as bad as it looked," Benn said. "It was 18 guys playing pretty good hockey and two that weren't. I was one of those guys. It wasn't good enough. Until you play the right way, you're not going to get that consistency."

On the plus side, the indefatigable Antoine Roussel provided some bright spots, including a goal and an assist, while new guy Kris Russell debuted to largely positive notices.

"That's where you want to be, where every shift matters, every game matters," Russell said of his new team. "Just judging by the guys in this locker room, there's a lot of character in here, and I see good things for this team. This is a group that really wants to win, and I'm excited to be a part of it."

There's much more at Mike's place. [SportsDayDFW]

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Amazingly, the Stars are still at the top of the Central – but they've squandered their games-in-hand advantage and are now "battling to stay out of third place instead of fighting to stay in first." [SportsDayDFW]

Head coach Lindy Ruff talks about what went wrong last night.

And Razor discusses goal hemorrhaging and possibly making the word Antoine a verb in the latest Emporium.

More evidence of a widening rift between the Vancouver Canucks' ownership and management – and a worsening feud between Francesco Aquilini and Tom Gaglardi – as Greg Wyshynski breaks down the breakdown of the Dan Hamhuis trade. [Puck Daddy]

Not surprisingly, Hamhuis made Jared Clinton's list of five trades that should have happened before the deadline. [The Hockey News]

New blueliner Russell spoke with Robby Stanley about how he hopes to help the Stars during the playoff hunt. [NHL]

Elliotte Friedman offers his take on the Dallas trade that happened, and the one that didn't, in his latest 30 Thoughts – including this. [Sportsnet]

Several teams have said they put great focus on the bluelines –€” how they exit their own zones and enter the opponents'. So that's what I do. According to sportlogiq data, Russell is excellent at getting out of his own zone. If you count all of his outlet passes, stretch passes and carry-outs from there, he's in the top 30 of all NHL defenders. His issues are offensive. He's nowhere near as involved in that zone. Since T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano faced the toughest competition, that makes Russell's numbers look worse. An offensively potent club could be a great fit. Time will tell. But, Nill's earned enough capital in Detroit and Dallas to say, in the hockey battle of Jim Nill versus the Internet, I'll go with Nill.

Meanwhile, Jyrki Jokipakka earned a helper on the Calgary Flames' only goal in last night's 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

If you haven't felt all your feels yet, here is one of JJ's first interviews as a Flame. Clear skies, #Kevin. We'll always have the Calder Cup.

Last night, in live fire:

There's only one #MDK game tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. Central time. [NHL]

The Canadiens will be Devante Smith-Pelly-less for tonight's battle, having swapped him for the New Jersey Devils' Stefan Matteau in the dying hours of NHL trade deadline day. [CBC]

Can you believe that last night's Edmonton Oilers-Buffalo Sabres game was Round 1 in the Battle of the 2015 Ultra-Prospects? Yes, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel met on the ice for the first time as NHL'ers. Here's what happened.

Allan Muir takes one last look at this year's trade-deadline moves. [Sports Illustrated]

Ilya Kovalchuk will stay with SKA St. Petersburg, but will not dress for the 2016 KHL playoffs, as Bill Daly expounds on what it would take to allow the renegade Russian forward to play in the NHL again. [Sportsnet]

Finally: Awww. Mats Zuccarello had to "help a buddy out," so he gave a fan a stick before last night's New York Rangers game and got an assist on a prom date. Wait'll you see what he wrote on that twig. [New York Daily News]