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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Antoine Roussel's Playoff Intensity Helps the Stars Dethrone the Kings

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The Stars' marquee agitator is in his element as the games get faster and heavier. Plus, Steven Stamkos' season is over, and #fancystats are responsible for a new front-office hiring boom.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As it turns out, no one was more hacked off about that Antoine Roussel goal being called back than Lindy Ruff. The Dallas Stars head coach is a pretty big Rooster fan himself, and that hard-driving goal against the Los Angeles Kings is one reason why, writes Mike Heika.

"I wanted to send a message that we wanted to be rewarded for going to the net," Ruff said. "In the end, I knew I probably wasn't going to win the challenge. But I liked what he did, I liked where he went. I thought there was a shot at it, so why not take a shot and try to reward him for good play."

The challenge didn't work, but the message was received loud and clear, as Roussel played one of his best games of the season helped lead a spirited 3-2 win over the Kings at Staples Center.

Dangerouss' also provided one of the game's indelible moments, playing almost an entire shift with no helmet after losing his lid in a brief behind-the-net altercation, and not resting until he and Radek Faksa had teed up Patrick Eaves for the goal that tied the game at two:

Roussel lost his helmet early in the shift and then went on a long skate up and down the ice before he and Radek Faksa found a way to get the puck to Eaves for a backhand shot at 5:57 of the third period that tied the game at 2-2.

"He was absolutely fabulous," Ruff said of Roussel. "His work ethic on that goal, his determination to get the puck back. Not too often do you see a guy going up the ice with no helmet. It reminded me of the '70s."

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

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Elsewhere in Heika, Mike scouts today's playoff preview against the Anaheim Ducks (and the key matchup of Roussel versus former fellow Pitbull Line member Ryan Garbutt). [SportsDayDFW]

Ruff joined the 700 club with the Stars' victory over the Kings: It was his 700th NHL victory as a coach.

The coach talked about this milestone in the postgame interviews.

In case you missed it, the Jordie Benn goal was the first GWG of The Victoria Lumberjack's career.

And Bruce LeVine summed up Roussel's contributions like this.

The man of the moment talked about that goaltender-interference call and the playoff-style intensity of the Stars-Kings game.

In more difficult news, Mattias Janmark suffered an upper-body injury during Saturday's heavy-hitting game and will be out for "a bit." [SportsDayDFW]

Razor contemplates regicide (and Rous' ability to take over a game without a single goal) in the latest Emporium.

The Nashville Predators provided the only other #MDK action last night, losing 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks in a shootout. [On the Forecheck]

There's a full slate today, though, as teams scramble for position (or precious wildcard points):

News broke last night that Steven Stamkos may have played his last game for the Tampa Bay Lightning: He's out for 4-12 weeks with a blood clot that will require surgery.

James Mirtle links some reading material on vascular thoracic outlet syndrome:

Does Stamkos' condition open the door for Bolts bad boy Jonathan Drouin? GM Steve Yzerman says recalling the problematic forward is "something we have to consider." [theScore]

Will Pavel Datsyuk leave the last year of his contract with the struggling Detroit Red Wings to play in the KHL?

Elliotte Friedman broke this story, and here he discusses it with Damien Cox. Find a larger version of the video at the link. [Sportsnet]

Will the Red Wings be better off kissing their playoff streak goodbye? Jordan Heath-Rawlings thinks so. [Sportsnet]

Two days after becoming only the fourth netminder in NHL history to win 35 games in seven seasons, Marc-Andre Fleury has been diagnosed with his second concussion of the season and will be out "indefinitely." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Fortunately for the Pittsburgh Penguins, rookie G Matt Murray posted his first career NHL shutout, and the team was able to clinch a playoff spot with their defeat of the New York Islanders. [New York Daily News]

The Isles got more bad news as they lost defender Travis Hamonic to a lower-body injury sustained during Thursday night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Puck Daddy]

One good way to ensure NHL netminders are on the side of change is to enlist their help in making sure change is effective. Alex Prewitt writes about how Cory Schneider, Braden Holtby, Mike Smith, Steve Mason and more are providing advice on the league's new streamlined goalie equipment.

Mike Brophy names eight players who won't get any Hart Trophy votes but still played like MVPs this season. [The Hockey News]

Also in THN: #Fancystats and other rich data are causing an employment boom in the NHL's front offices. [THN]

The Texas Stars need just four more points to clinch a playoff spot after Jack Campbell backstopped the team to a Saturday shootout win over the Charlotte Checkers.

As the Florida Panthers close in on a regular-season Atlantic Division championship, the Traveling Jagrs appear to be having the time of their lives. [Bar Down]

Finally: One last look at the Stars' victory in L.A., as filtered through Monty Python. Enjoy.