Monday, October 10, 2011
An early homestand for Stars
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars had a strong showing at home in Friday’s season opening win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Now they’d like to string together some more good home performances as they kick off a three-game homestand Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
“You have to make hay when the sun shines, right? We’re at home here and that’s what we have to do,”
said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “That’s our thought process, be prepared for these next three games at home.”
The Stars will be playing three Western Conference opponents – Phoenix, St. Louis and Columbus. All three teams, along with the Stars, are likely to be in that mix of teams battling it out for playoff spots in the West this season.
“We definitely want to establish a winning attitude at home. And it’s against teams that definitely could be around that playoff picture at the end of the year,” said defenseman Alex Goligoski. “It’s more about getting to our game. We really haven’t gotten there yet. We have to look at tape, see where we are and get on the same page here.”
Lehtonen in goal Monday
Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 37 of 38 shots in Friday’s season opening win over Chicago on Friday, will be back in net on Monday, and he could carry the load during this week’s homestand.
“Kari’s going [Monday] and we’ll go from there,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “With the way the week sets up, I’m sure Kari is going to see a lot this week.”
The Stars’ games this week fall on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. They don’t play again until the following Tuesday, when they play at Columbus.
Pardy practices, could return Thursday
Stars defenseman Adam Pardy, who missed the first two games of the season with a rib injury, was on the ice when the Stars skated in Frisco Sunday afternoon.
He won’t play Monday, but he is getting closer to a return.
“Felt pretty good. Shooting was fine, skating was fine. Overall I felt pretty good. I haven’t taken a hit yet,” said Pardy. “Other than taking a hit and sneezing, it’s been feeling pretty good. Just take it day by day here. Still on the IR for tomorrow and we’ll re-evaluate it in the next couple days and see if we can make a push on Thursday.”
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Pardy and Nicklas Grossman, who missed the first two games with a groin injury, could return during this week’s homestand.
"I think [Pardy and Grossman] will be ready to play on Thursday, we're thinking pretty much Thursday. If not, then Saturday at the latest," said Gulutzan.