Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn

It's not very often that a No. 1 seed is beaten in the first round of the NHL playoffs, but it's not unprecedented, either. In fact, a No. 8 seed -- Los Angeles -- won the Stanley Cup a few years ago. So what do the Dallas Stars need to do to pull off the upset of the Anaheim Ducks? Here are five things they need to do:

1. Win the goaltending battle. It's odd that the Ducks are the top seed and have major questions in goal. Jonas Hiller was disappointing in the final month of the season, forcing coach Bruce Boudreau to go with his younger netminders in Frederik Andersen and John Gibson, who won all three of his starts with a .954 save percentage. Stars coach Lindy Ruff is betting Boudreau goes with Andersen because of how much Hiller has struggled. But that gives the advantage in nets to the Dallas Stars and goalie Kari Lehtonen. He's played well this season and is seeking redemption for his quick and rough playoff experience with Atlanta.

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2. Utilize their speed and puck possession skills. The Stars annoy opponents because they are always on the go. If you're not ready to skate, the Stars will beat you. Dallas is the faster team and if the Stars can drive the tempo up and control the puck, something they are very good at doing, they can make things difficult on the Ducks. Ruff's style with this team is to grab the puck and create scoring chances. And with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the top line, they have the ability to do that.

3. Get scoring from more than Benn and Seguin. Everyone in the NHL knows how good Benn and Seguin are, but the Stars also have a second line that can do some damage in Antoine Roussel, Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt. All three will be playing in the playoffs for the first time. How they respond will go a long way toward determining whether the Stars pull the upset. The trio has played well down the stretch in pressure games and they look ready.

4. Do the job on special teams. The two squads are fairly even on the power play and penalty kill, but if you look inside the numbers you'll find that the Stars did a better job in both categories in the last few weeks. The Stars finished 23rd on the power play (Anaheim is 22nd) and 21st on the penalty kill (Anaheim is 13th, but not much higher than Dallas on percentage), but that was not indicative of how they played when the games mattered most as the season wound down. The Stars moved the puck well on the power play and found shooting lanes and they were smart, but aggressive on the penalty kill. They'll have to do both in this series.

As an added part to No. 4, the Stars' defense, inconsistent this season, must avoid too many costly turnovers. That's area that's been an issue for this team.

5. Don't squint under the playoff lights. This is a new experience for 12 of the Stars' players. Lehtonen has just two playoff games to his name. How the club reacts to the pressure, especially early in the series, is critical. If Dallas can stay calm and competitive in the first 20 minutes on Wednesday, that could set an important tone for the rest of the series. Anaheim has been here before. The Stars haven't played a postseason game since 2008. They've got a new GM, coach, owner and a gaggle of new players since then. They can't let the newness of the experience overwhelm them.

Rich Peverley's texts propel Stars

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
12:42
AM CT
St. Louis – Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff fired off a text to Rich Peverley right after the game Tuesday night at Scottrade Center to tell him the Stars had beaten the top team in the National Hockey League, the St. Louis Blues.

A text came right back onto Ruff’s smartphone from Peverley, and read, simply:

“Keep rolling, and we’ll see you tomorrow.”

[+] EnlargeDallas Stars bench
Billy Hurst/CSM/AP ImagesIt wasn't easy to put aside what happened on Monday, but hearing from Rich Peverley helped the Stars do what he asked: Keep rolling.
Yes indeed: Keep rolling.

The Stars put the scary events of Monday night aside -- Peverley collapsing on the Stars bench at American Airlines Center and needing life-saving medical treatment -- and beat the NHL’s top team 3-2 in overtime.

Jamie Benn scored the game winner with 1:18 left in overtime, sniping a shot over Ryan Miller’s glove on assists from Trevor Daley and Tyler Seguin.

Benn and Seguin were on either side of linemate Peverley after they came off on a line change when Peverley collapsed Monday night.

“Last night was a scary situation; today’s a new day,” said Benn, the Stars’ captain. “We were thinking about Rich back home, but I thought we did a great job getting mentally ready for this game. We’re still in a playoff hunt, a good playoff push. We found a way to get to points.”

The victory was the Stars’ third in a row, and they are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games. They’re 32-23-10 for 74 points, in eighth in the Western Conference and in the second and final wild-card playoff spot. The Blues dropped to 44-14-7 for 95 points, first by two points over Anaheim in the NHL standings.

Putting aside the traumatic events “wasn’t easy,” Benn said. One of their teammates, Alex Chiasson, was so emotionally distraught by the event that he was hospitalized Monday night rather than traveling to St. Louis. Still, the Stars were able to focus in on the game, well fought throughout.

“It hit our guys pretty good last night,” Benn said. “I thought we did a job in coming in here and getting two points in a tough building.”

In addition to scoring the winner, Benn sprung Antoine Roussel for his breakaway goal in the second period. Colton Sceviour, one of two players called up from the AHL's Texas Stars to fill out the roster Tuesday, scored the other goal.

Sceviour wasn’t sure what was awaiting him when he joined the team. The incident hit him as well, and he was only watching the game on television.

“You never know what to expect in this situation,” he said. “There’s not a page in a book about how to handle a situation like this. The fact that he texted a lot of guys and told them he was doing well, the fact he was stable, helped guys put that aside for a couple hours and focus on hockey for a little bit. That was huge.”

Goalie Tim Thomas finished with 28 saves for his second win in a Stars uniform. Thomas watched Benn’s winner unfold from the other end of the ice.

“When I saw the puck come to Jamie there, I was like, ‘Bury it,’ and he put it top shelf,” Thomas said. “Awesome job.”

Thomas has only been with the Stars a week, arriving at the trade deadline from Florida. He played his first game Saturday when Kari Lehtonen suffered a concussion, and had the curtailed start Monday before finally playing a full game -- and then some -- Tuesday.

“It helps that Rich is doing really well,” Thomas said. “I’m certainly not trying to underplay anything that happened to Rich, you know, but under the circumstances, I’m going to look at the positives that he’s doing well, and I’m sure he was cheering us on. He’d want us to go out and win the game, and that’s what we did.”

Peverley’s texts Monday from the hospital helped immensely, according to Thomas.

“That set a lot of guys at ease; it did me anyway,” Thomas said.

Likewise, the text Tuesday to Ruff was the best news of the day.

Much-needed G Dan Ellis now 4-0 at home

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
12:55
AM CT
DALLAS -- Dallas Stars goaltender Dan Ellis knew on the flight back from Denver he'd be called on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

His team was playing a home-and-home on consecutive nights against the Colorado Avalanche, and starting netminder Kari Lehtonen faced 48 shots in a 6-2 loss in Denver on Monday night.

[+] EnlargeDan Ellis
Glenn James/NHLI/Getty Images"Last night we weren't committed to defense. We were committed to winning tonight," Stars backup goalie Dan Ellis said Tuesday after the second game against the Avalanche in as many nights.

Indeed, Stars coach Lindy Ruff needed his backup, and Ellis delivered in a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche in one of the best finishes of the season at the AAC.

Ellis withstood a chaotic last 25 seconds, stopping five shots, all of them at point-blank range. He also had help from his teammates, who didn't get in front of any Colorado shots on Monday night.

The Stars made a stronger effort in front of Ellis, starting with captain Jamie Benn, who had a crucial block on a shot from the point seconds after he was too casual on an empty-net opportunity that would have given the Stars a 4-2 victory.

The end result was a massive two points for Dallas -- and none for the division rival Avalanche -- as the Stars try to work their way into the Western Conference playoff race. The Stars are eight points out of the second wild-card spot held down by the Minnesota Wild, which has played three more games than Dallas.

"Last night we weren't committed to defense," Ellis said after Tuesday's game. "We were committed to winning tonight.

"The big guy plays a lot of games," he said of Lehtonen. "When you get that much rubber, you need to get a break. He had 50 shots [Monday], and he could have given up a lot more goals."

Ellis' biggest save Tuesday came late in a Colorado power play with just less than five minutes to go in the game when he robbed Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog on a one-timer right in front of the net to keep the game tied at 2-2.

"I've seen a little bit of their power play," Ellis said. "He has a great one-timer. So I had an eye on him. I expected a quick shot. I was able to snag it with my glove."

Two minutes later, Dallas’ Colton Sceviour scored on a breakaway for a 3-2 lead. And Ellis and the Stars held on tight for their 16th win of the season.

Ellis is now 4-0 at home. With more nights like Tuesday's, he might give Ruff greater cause to rest Lehtonen, who has played in 25 of the Stars' 33 games.

Stars thankful to have Kari Lehtonen back

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
10:44
PM CT
DALLAS -- No, Kari Lehtonen wasn't the top star of Thursday's 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames. That was Alex Chiasson, whose two goals helped the Stars jump out in front.

But Thursday was a reminder of how much better a team can feel about a lead when its No. 1 goalie is back there as the final line of defense. That's especially true for the Stars, whose defensive corps has already coughed up a 3-1 lead this season.

Dallas took firm control of this game in the span of 61 seconds in the middle of the second period, scoring three goals in quick succession. Lehtonen made sure that it was all that was needed.

"It makes a difference having him in [goal]," said captain Jamie Benn, who found the net on Thursday. "If you make a mistake, more times than not, he makes the stop. We don't want to give up those Grade-A chances in the slot, and we're trying to keep things outside. We feel like if we don't give up those great chances, Kari will stop everything else."

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Nill practices patience turning Stars around

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
10:00
AM CT
Jim NillAP Photo/Tony GutierrezJim Nill says the Stars are probably about two years away from where they'd like to be.


FRISCO, Texas -- There isn’t much hanging on the walls of Jim Nill’s office, which sits just above the practice ice at Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco, home of the Dallas Stars.

There are nails, at least. But no pictures of Stars hockey players or even a few he helped bring to the Detroit Red Wings in his long tenure there.

“That’s on the list,” Nill said. “Be patient.”

Patience is something Nill is working hard to preach -- and even harder to practice.

The 55-year-old Western Canada native admits that the competitor in him makes it difficult for him to accept that turning around a Stars franchise that last made the playoffs when George W. Bush was still in the White House (and not yet living in Dallas) isn’t going to happen quickly.

“I’ve got to be honest: I think we’re going to turn the corner, but we’re probably two years away from what we should be,” Nill said last week. “The core of the team is 20 to 26 years of age. That’s young. You give those guys two years to mature and what we have coming up in the system and I think in two years we’ll have a solid core. That’s how Stanley Cup champions are built. We are in the early stage, but we have the talent.”

Tyler Seguin #91, Sergei Gonchar #55, Erik Cole #72, Jamie Benn #14 and Alex Chiasson
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesJim Nill wants to find a young core to build the club around and keep improving.
It’s early in Nill’s inaugural season, but already his patience is getting tested. Dallas is 3-5-0 and is struggling on defense. The club is near the bottom of the league in shots against and, as you can imagine, is taking too many penalties thanks to the puck spending an inordinate amount of time in the Stars’ own end. It doesn’t help that starting goalie Kari Lehtonen has missed most of those games after tweaking his groin earlier in the season. He’s slated to return Thursday against Calgary.

“We just have to stay patient,” Nill said.

There’s that word again. What you won’t see in Nill is any kind of panic. That’s just not his style. Neither is skating into a new environment and showing off his guns despite his freshly-minted status as the Stars’ sheriff. But he has a way -- perhaps it’s his keen knowledge of the game and calm, yet assured demeanor -- of allowing his belief and confidence to seep into every aspect of the organization. He’s in charge, there’s no doubt about that. But he doesn’t have to flaunt it or demand it.

“The guy has no ego,” Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. “He’s knows what he’s talking about. He’s on his game. He’s very competitive and hungry.”

Part of that comes from the fact that he was Ken Holland’s right-hand man in Detroit for so long, helping that organization draft, develop and hold onto key pieces that have made them the envy of most clubs in the NHL. And part of it is Nill has the ability to make those working for him feel immediately like they have a critical say in the direction of the franchise.
Maybe it’s that whole patience thing again. After all, Nill had chances to leave Detroit and didn’t. Part of it was his family. Part of it was his wife’s health -- Bekki has incurable liver cancer. It was discovered two years ago and 12 years after her breast cancer went into remission.

But when the Stars called, the Nills decided it was time for a move. That was after 19 years in management with the Red Wings and another three before that as a player.

Nill said he was sold after meeting Gaglardi and becoming convinced that there was stability in ownership and a commitment to winning. And he knew there were key pieces on the ice to building a contender.

“Any successful team is built from goaltending to defense to center ice,” Nill said. “You have to be good down the middle.”

Nill called Lehtonen a “great goalie” and is convinced he’s a player the team can build around.

“I don’t think he realizes how good he can be,” Nill said. “He’s at that age where he can figure it out.”

But the other two parts of Nill’s equation are going to take some work. He knew that before he arrived.

“There’s weakness on defense and we have to do something, but I know there are some prospects coming up,” Nill said. “That takes time. Defense is a tough position to learn. You need experience. The other big spot is center ice. That was a major hole.”

Nill went about plugging it. He moved Jamie Benn back to wing, his natural position, and named him team capatin. Nill made the biggest trade of his brief tenure, giving up a packaged centered by Loui Eriksson to get Tyler Seguin, a talented 21-year-old center. The deal didn’t come without some risk. Seguin made waves even before he skated in Dallas, putting some things on Twitter he shouldn’t have. But Nill managed to land one of the best centers available and did so by doing his homework. Boston needed to make a move with the salary cap dipping and the Stars had the ability to do it and improve their forward group. Nill made sure the Bruins had the Stars in mind when they were ready to make a move.

It was a deal in the mold of Nill’s philosophy: Find a young core to build the club around and then keep improving. Nill believes in doing that through draft and development, key trades and quality signings. It’s a blueprint that has made the Red Wings the envy of every organization in the NHL. You know the names -- Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Daniel Cleary -- guys developed or obtained by the Wings that made up their core and shoved the winning window wide open.

Of course, sometime mistakes are made. You could argue, at least right now, that $10 million for two years of an aging Sergei Gonchar might not have been money well spent. But Nill will also argue that having Gonchar and even Shawn Horcoff teach the younger guys about life off the ice will help them two or three years down the road, when Gonchar and Horcoff aren’t a part of this club anymore.
Nill believes strongly in what he’s doing and he’s not going to change course, even when the ice gets a bit choppy.

“You have to have stability,” Nill said. “If you start making changes every two years on philosophy, you’re going to chase your tail.

“We’re going to draft and develop. That’s the key in the world of the CBA (collective bargaining agreement, which includes a salary cap). You have to make smart signings. If you get committed to somebody long-term for big money and it’s the wrong person, your hands are tied.

“We want to be a high-paced, hungry, competitive team. We’ll play hard and move the puck. You can’t play to not make a mistake. We want to make plays. But you have to be smart. That takes time to learn.”

Nill also knows it takes a coach to help make that happen. He made the decision to fire Glen Gulutzan shortly after he took the job and began a search. Nill wanted someone with experience who could motivate and teach a young group. So he hired Lindy Ruff.

“The process of hiring a coach was probably the toughest thing I’ve had to do in my young career as a GM,” Nill said. “You know people, but you don’t know them. You interview and some people are naturally polished and some aren’t. That may not mean anything.

“I don’t want to say I got lucky, but I got the right guy. He’s a great person. The one thing I didn’t realize is he’s such a detailed guy. His passion is unbelievable.”

Nill didn’t overhaul the existing management group. Instead, he came in and evaluated the people left after Joe Nieuwendyk’s departure and decided to keep most of them. Les Jackson, the assistant GM, is respected in the game for his ability to evaluate talent as he runs the club’s scouting department. Mark Janko and Scott White do a fair amount of negotiating contracts and keeping up-to-date on the CBA, which a quick glance makes it appear you need several advanced degrees to understand.

“He cares about every detail in the entire organization from players, player salaries and treating the players with respect as well as staff, training staff, scouts, everybody,” Janko said. “He wants to know about everything that happens every day, but not in a controlling way. It’s more in a leadership way.”

The Stars clearly have their leader. And he’s telling anyone who will listen that while he’s frustrated with his team’s start, he’s staying patient.

“Patience is tough for everybody,” Gaglardi said. “I expect to get better. I don’t want to go backward. How far that takes us in terms of making the playoffs or how many rounds we win? I don’t know. I think this is a core of guys that in the next couple of years are going to improve and then in year three or four or five, we’ve got a real shot to win. That’s what we’re building for. But it takes time.”

In the meantime, Nill and his staff will continue to look for any way to improve the club while never wavering from their philosophy. Perhaps with some of that patience, Nill could hang a few photos on his office wall, though?
Pierre LeBrun posted has some Stars news on the Cross Checks Blog. Read the full post here.

The Dallas Stars are getting calls from other teams on two players that garnered attention before the trade deadline: Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro.

Ott especially got some traction before the deadline, but the Stars ultimately decided to hold on to him as they were sitting in a playoff spot at the time. The rugged winger, who can pot some goals, has two more years left on his deal paying him $3.2 million a year in salary but with a $2.95-million cap hit.

He’d be a good addition for a team looking to bulk up in a second-line role.

Ribeiro, deeply talented but somewhat inconsistent, has one year left on his deal paying him $5 million.

If the Stars move one or either of these two players, it’s with the big picture in mind, which is to get their core a bit younger and build the team around Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson.
All the Dallas Stars playing at the 2012 World Championship are now finished as the USA, Canada and Sweden were all eliminated in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Stars forward Loui Eriksson had one goal and one assist, but Sweden lost 4-3 to Czech Republic. Czech forward Milan Michalek scored the game-winner with 29 seconds remaining. Eriksson finished with 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in eight games, leading Sweden in goals and finishing second on the team in points.

Defenseman Alex Goligoski had no points in Team USA’s 3-2 loss to Finland. Finland’s Jesse Joensuu scored two goals, including the game-winner with just nine seconds remaining. Goligoski ended the tournament with five points (one goal, four assists) and a plus-seven rating in eight games.

Stars goalie Richard Bachman, who played in one tournament game, was the backup to Jimmy Howard for Team USA on Thursday.

Forward Jamie Benn had no points in Canada’s 4-3 loss to Slovakia. Slovakia’s Michael Handzus scored a power play goal with 2:28 left, snapping a 3-3 tie. Benn ended up with five points (three goals, two assists) in eight games.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is out for the rest of the tournament for the Finns due to a minor knee injury.

Forward Tomas Vincour, who was on the Czech's travel roster for the tournament, was not among the 25 players his country registered to play in the tournament, so he is not eligible to play any games.

Thursday’s results (quarterfinals)

Slovakia 4, Canada 3
Russia 5, Norway 2
Finland 3, USA 2
Czech Republic 4, Sweden 3

Saturday’s games (semifinals)

Russia vs. Finland, 6:30 a.m.
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia, 10:30 a.m.


Alex Goligoski scored a goal as Team USA defeated Switzerland 5-2 in its final game of the preliminary round at the World Championship on Tuesday. Team USA finished second in Group H and will play Finland in the quarterfinal on Thursday.

Forward Jamie Benn had no points and one shot on goal in Canada’s 5-1 victory over Belarus. Canada, which finished first in Group H, will play Slovakia in the quarterfinals.

Forward Loui Eriksson scored a goal for Sweden, which ended preliminary play with a 4-0 victory over Latvia. The Swedes finished second in Group S and will take on Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

Defenseman Philip Larsen picked up an assist in Denmark’s 6-2 loss to Norway on Tuesday. Larsen ended the tournament with two assists and minus-six rating in seven games. He led Denmark, which finished 13th in the tournament, with 25:05 of ice time per game.

Wednesday is a day off at the tournament. The quarterfinals are on Thursday.

Tuesday’s games

Canada 5, Belarus 1
Norway 6, Denmark 2
Slovakia 5, France 4
Czech Republic 8, Germany 1
USA 5, Switzerland 2

Thursday’s games (quarterfinals)

Canada vs. Slovakia, 5:00 a.m.
Russia vs. Norway, 7:45 a.m.
USA vs. Finland, 10:30 a.m.
Sweden vs. Czech Republic, 1:15 p.m.

World Championship update

May, 12, 2012
5/12/12
3:35
PM CT
Jamie Benn had one assist, two shots and was a plus-1 in Canada’s 8-0 win over Kazakhstan. Benn, who centered a line with Teddy Purcell and Alex Burrows, won seven of 13 faceoffs in the game.

Loui Eriksson had one assist, two shots and was a plus-1 in Sweden’s 4-0 victory over Italy. Eriksson has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games for Sweden in the tournament.

Philip Larsen played a game-high 27:00 for Denmark, which lost 2-1 to Germany. Larsen had no points, four shots on goal and was a minus-1 for Denmark, which is 0-4-1 in the tournament.

Saturday’s games

Slovakia 5, Belarus 1
Norway 3, Latvia 0
France 4, Switzerland 2
Germany 2, Denmark 1
Canada 8, Kazakhstan 0
Sweden 4, Italy 0

Sunday’s games

Finland vs. USA, 8:15 a.m.
Russia vs. Czech Republic, 9:15 a.m.
Switzerland vs. Slovakia, 12:15 p.m.
Germany vs. Norway, 1:15 p.m.

Stars goaltender Richard Bachman made his first appearance at the World Championship on Friday, stopping 17 of 19 shots as Team USA defeated Kazakhstan in overtime, 3-2.

“I had a lot of things going through my head -- I was excited to throw on the USA jersey and be a starter for a game,” Bachman told USAHockey.com. “I hadn’t played in 10 days -- since I had a little game action in the exhibition against Sweden. For me, I was just trying to get comfortable with my surroundings and just settle in.”

Kazakhstan, which came into the game with an 0-4 record, gave the U.S. all it could handle and forced Bachman to make some quality saves throughout the game.

Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski had an assist, a game-high eight shots on goal and was a plus-three for the USA, which outshot Kazakhstan 50-19.

Carolina’s Justin Faulk scored two goals for the USA, including the game-winner with 22 seconds left in overtime.

Canada defeated Finland 5-3 on Friday. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen had 21 saves on 25 shots for the Finns, who lost for the first time in the tournament. Stars forward Jamie Benn had no points, one shot and two penalty minutes for the Canadians.

Stars forward Loui Eriksson had two assists, a game-high 10 shots on goal, but Sweden fell to Russia 6-3 in a battle of unbeaten teams. Russia is now the only unbeaten in the preliminary round at 5-0-0.

Eriksson now has nine points (three goals, six assists) in five games and ranks second in scoring at the tournament to Russia’s Evgeni Malkin, who had five points (three goals, two assists) in Friday’s game and now has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in five games.

Vincour won’t play at tournament

The Czech Republic made it official Friday that Stars forward Tomas Vincour won’t play at the World Championship. The Czechs registered their final three players for the tournament to bring their active roster to the 25-man limit and Vincour wasn’t among them.

Friday’s games

USA 3, Kazakhstan 2 (OT)
Czech Republic 6, Italy 0
Canada 5, Finland 3
Russia 7, Sweden 7-3

Saturday’s games

Slovakia vs. Belarus, 4:15 a.m.
Norway vs. Latvia, 5:15 a.m.
Switzerland vs. France, 8:15 a.m.
Germany vs. Denmark, 9:15 a.m.
Kazakhstan vs. Canada, 12:15 p.m.
Italy vs. Sweden, 1:15 p.m.

Stars forward Loui Eriksson picked up an assist as Sweden improved to 4-0-0 with a 5-2 win over Germany at the World Championship on Wednesday.

Eriksson, who is playing on a line with Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, leads the tournament in scoring with seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games.

Stars forward Jamie Benn had no points, no shots and was even in Canada’s 3-2 victory over Switzerland. Benn again played on a line with Chicago’s Patrick Sharp and Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Forward Tomas Vincour is still with the Czech Republic team at the World Championship, but his chances of playing in the tournament appear to be dwindling. The Czech’s have been adding players to their roster as teams get eliminated from the NHL playoffs. Martin Erat of the Nashville Predators is the latest. Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek could be next, and if he is added the Czech’s 25-man active roster for the tournament would be filled and there would be no room for Vincour.

Wednesday’s games

Slovakia 4, Kazakhstan 2
Norway 6, Italy 2
Canada 3, Switzerland 2
Sweden 5, Germany 2

Thursday’s games

USA vs. Belarus, 8:15 a.m.
Denmark vs. Russia, 9:15 a.m.
France vs. Finland, 12:15 p.m.
Czech Republic vs. Latvia, 1:15 p.m.


Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson had two goals and one assist in Sweden’s 6-4 victory over Denmark at the World Championship on Monday.

Eriksson leads the tournament with six points (three goals and three assists) in three games and is tied for first in goal scoring with three other players, including Canada's Jamie Benn.

Benn had two goals, one assist and a plus-4 rating in Canada’s 7-2 win over France on Monday.

Benn had new linemates Monday, playing with Chicago’s Patrick Sharp and Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The trio combined for 11 points (five goals, six assists) in the game.

Benn has three goals in three games. His four points are tied for fifth in the tournament.

Defenseman Alex Goligoski had no points, no shots and an even rating in Team USA’s 4-2 loss to Slovakia. Richard Bachman did not play for the Americans. He was the backup to Jimmy Howard for the third straight game.

Defenseman Philip Larsen had one assist for Denmark in Monday's loss to Sweden.

Tomas Vincour did not play for the Czechs, who defeated Norway 4-3 on Monday.

Monday’s results

Canada 7, France 2
Czech Republic 4, Norway 3
Slovakia 4, USA 2
Sweden 6, Denmark 4

Tuesday’s games

Belarus vs. Kazakhstan, 8:15 a.m.
Latvia vs. Italy, 9:15 a.m.
Finland vs. Switzerland, 12:15 p.m.
Russia vs. Germany, 1:15 p.m.


Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson had two assists as Sweden defeated Czech Republic 4-1 Saturday at the World Championship.

Eriksson, who again played on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, has three points (one goal, two assists) in two tournament games.

Forward Tomas Vincour did not play for the Czechs.

Team USA beat Canada 5-4 in overtime. Alex Goligoski had no points, five shots on goal and a plus-one rating for Team USA.

Goaltender Richard Bachman served as the backup to Jimmy Howard for the Americans.

Jamie Benn had no points and was even for Canada.

Saturday’s results

Switzerland 5, Kazakhstan 1
Russia 5, Latvia 2
USA 5, Canada 4 (OT)
Sweden 4, Czech Republic 1

Sunday’s games

France vs. Kazakhstan, 4:15 a.m.
Denmark vs. Italy, 5:15 a.m.
Finland vs. Slovakia, 8:15 a.m.
Russia vs. Norway, 9:15 a.m.
Switzerland vs. Belarus, 12:15 p.m.
Germany vs. Latvia, 1:15 p.m.

Worlds: Kari Lehtonen posts shutout

May, 4, 2012
5/04/12
4:35
PM CT
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen opened the 2012 World Championship with a shutout, stopping all 21 shots he faced as Finland defeated Belarus 1-0 in the first day of games at the tournament.

Lehtonen faced just two shots in the opening period but stopped 12 in the second and then seven in the third in posting the shutout.

Here’s a look at how the other Dallas Stars players fared on day one of the World Championship:

*Forward Jamie Benn scored the first goal of the game in Canada’s 3-2 win over Slovakia. Benn began the game on a line with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

*Forward Loui Eriksson had a power play goal in Sweden’s 3-1 victory over Norway. Eriksson played on a line with Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. Joining that line on the power play unit when Eriksson scored his goal were Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Karlsson.

*Defenseman Alex Goligoski had two assists and a plus-two rating in the USA’s 7-2 victory over France. Goligoski, who was second on the USA in ice time with 22:06, was paired with Carolina’s Justin Faulk.

*Richard Bachman served as the backup to Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, who stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Americans.

*Defenseman Philip Larsen had no points, three shots and a minus-two rating as Denmark lost 2-0 to Czech Republic. Forward Tomas Vincour did not play for the Czechs.

Friday’s results

USA 7, France 2
Germany 3, Italy 0
Canada 3, Slovakia 2
Czech Republic 2, Denmark 0
Finland 1, Belarus 0
Sweden 3, Norway 1

Saturday’s games

Switzerland vs. Kazakhstan, 7 a.m.
Latvia vs. Russia, 9:15 a.m.
Canada vs. USA, 11 a.m.
Sweden vs. Czech Republic, 1:15 p.m.


World Championship begins Friday

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
10:19
PM CT
The 2012 World Championship gets underway Friday in Sweden and Finland, and seven Dallas Stars players are at the tournament.

Defenseman Alex Goligoski and goaltender Richard Bachman are playing for the United States. Forward Jamie Benn is playing for Canada. Loui Eriksson is among the several NHL players on Sweden’s roster. Kari Lehtonen is the Finland’s No.1 goaltender. And Philip Larsen is suiting up for Denmark.

Stars forward Tomas Vincour is with the Czech team, but it’s still not clear if he’ll be playing in the tournament. He apparently won’t be playing Friday since he was not among the players registered by the Czechs on Thursday. The Czechs registered only the 20 players who would dress for Friday’s game against Denmark.

The Teams

Group H (Helsinki, Finland): Belarus, Canada, Finland, France, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Slovakia, United States

Group S (Stockholm, Sweden: Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Sweden

The Format

The preliminary round features round-robin play within each group. The top four teams in each group after the preliminary round will advance to the quarterfinals, which will be played within each group with the first place team playing the fourth place team and the second place team playing the third place team.

In the semifinals the winners will crossover groups. Group H 1st vs. 4th winner will play Group S 2nd vs. 3rd winner. Group S 1st vs. 4th winner will play Group H 2nd vs. 3rd winner.

The two semifinal winners will play for the gold and the two semifinal losers will play for the bronze.

Links

International Ice Hockey Federation (Official tournament site)
IIHF YouTube Channel
USA Hockey
Hockey Canada

Friday’s Schedule (Times are Central)

USA vs. France, 4:15 a.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Italy vs. Germany, 5:15 a.m.
Slovakia vs. Canada, 8:15 a.m.
Denmark vs. Czech Republic, 9:15 a.m.
Finland vs. Belarus, 12:15 p.m.
Norway vs. Sweden, 1:15 p.m.

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