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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Kris Russell and the Stars' Rising Blocked Shots Total

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Kris Russell's arrival has meant a jump in blocked shots for the Stars. Plus, the Wild didn't lose in regulation, and a look at Jason Spezza's successes this season.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Since acquiring Kris Russell from the Flames at the trade deadline, the Stars have seen one stat trend upward: blocked shots. But while Russell may be leading the charge, he's not the only player who's stepped up in that department, says Mike Heika.

Since joining the Stars, Russell has held steady with 30 blocks in nine games (3.3 per game), but the Stars have exceeded their average of 15.0 per game in recent performances. On Thursday, Dallas registered 20 blocked shots. On Saturday, the Stars had 26.

"I think it really is a team effort, where it gets contagious when you see guys that don't normally block shots give up their body and block a shot," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said, singling out Colton Sceviour, Ales Hemsky and Valeri Nichushkin.

For more on Russell and the team's shot blocking, head to the link. [SportsDayDFW]

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The Stars will face the Blackhawks in Chicago tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Until then, you can catch up with Mark Stepneski's Sunday notes, where Lindy Ruff said Kari Lehtonen has the "upper hand" in the Stars' goalie tandem. [Stars]

Minnesota beat Chicago in a shootout last night, which means...

The 2010 NHL Draft was all about Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, but here are five other players picked in 2010 who are making waves in the league—including John Klingberg. [The Score]

The Stars will have to rely on Jason Spezza down the stretch. [The Hockey Writers]

Just an FYI, in case you've got some spare cash lying around...

Even if the Avalanche make the playoffs, the team still has a lot of work to do before it can be considered a true contender. [Sportsnet]

Bad news for the Flyers, who are fighting for a playoff spot: Goaltender Michal Neuvirth will miss three weeks with a lower-body injury. [Broad Street Hockey]

Sidney Crosby talks 3-on-3 overtime, fighting in today's NHL, and the current playoff format. [ESPN[

Capitals forward Jason Chimera showed off his soccer skills against the Penguins yesterday.

At Sportsnet, a look at how Finnish players in the NHL juggle their hockey careers and their country's mandatory military service. [Sportsnet]

As the Wild continue their hunt for a playoff spot, Thomas Vanek has found himself becoming a regular healthy scratch. [Star-Tribune]

Noah Hanifin's confidence keeps growing as he adjusts to life in the NHL with the Hurricanes. [The Hockey News]

In case you missed it, Kevin Spacey enjoyed a Panthers game on Saturday (and the team set a regular-season attendance record).

Steve Mayer, the league's executive vice president and executive producer for programming and development, has been hard at work since stepping into the role in December. [Puck Daddy]

Blue Jackets forward Brandon Saad talks about the members of his family who have arrived in the U.S. from Syria. [NHL]

Here's what you need to know before the NCAA men's hockey tournament gets underway. [CBS Sports]

And finally, here's your Bud Light Frozen Moment of the Week.