Sunday, April 20, 2014
Will Stars' Brenden Dillon play in Game 3?
By Richard Durrett
DALLAS -- Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff certainly wouldn't rule defenseman Brenden Dillon out for Game 3 of the team's first-round playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, but he didn't sound particularly optimistic about the chances of Dillon playing on Saturday. He has what the team is calling a "lower-body" injury.
"There’s a chance he could skate tomorrow [Sunday]," Ruff said. "So we’ll see how that goes. But skating once and trying to play is a pretty big task, really."
Dillon was injured in the Stars' win over the St. Louis Blues last week, which clinched the club's playoff spot. He has not skated since then, so if he does take the ice Sunday, that would be at least a step forward. But whether that's enough to make him a player for Game 3 remains to be seen.
With Dillon out, rookie Patrik Nemeth is seeing more ice time and the club decided to give 24-year-old Kevin Connauton a chance in Game 2.
"I liked his mobility," Ruff said. "[The Ducks are] a good skating team. We were using him for his offensive ability and getting up ice. I thought he did a couple of situations where the defending side, I would have liked to have seen him on the other side of the puck. But I thought he added something to our team."
Dillon would clearly make the Stars' defensive corps better, as he was a consistent member of the second pair and someone who was solid on the penalty kill -- even recording two short-handed goals this season. He was third among all Stars defensemen in ice time per game with 21:05.