Dallas Stars: Karlis Skrastins

Stars-Flames photos

March, 25, 2012
Here's a link to some photos from yesterday's Dallas Stars-Calgary Flames game. You can see all the photos by Shannon Byrne here or by clicking below on the image of the pre-game tribute to former Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins, who died last September when the plane carrying his KHL team crashed in Russia.

Dallas Stars pay tribute to Karlis Skrastins memory and honor his family. Karlis died in a plane crash, along with his entire team, September 7, 2011.Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames, March 24, 2012.
DALLAS -- With a big two points on the line Saturday afternoon goaltender Kari Lehtonen came up big for the Dallas Stars, leading the way in a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.

“Tonight our start got us a 2-0 lead and our goalie did the rest,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said.

Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder scored goals in the first 7:17 and Lehtonen made sure the Flames could never catch up, stopping 35 of 36 shots.

“I can’t say much more (about Lehtonen). We keep talking about elite,” Gulutzan said.” Just hope it keeps going."

The win pushed the Stars into first place in the Pacific Division and third place in the Western Conference, but whether they’ll be there at the end of the night depends on the rest of Saturday’s games.

It was a huge loss for the 11th place Flames, who fell four points behind the Stars and saw their winless streak hit five games (0-2-3) despite outshooting Dallas, 36-20.

“Well, the first five minutes or so we were standing and watching. We weren’t moving our feet. Then we got going and we played a pretty darn good hockey game after that,” Flames coach Brent Sutter said. “We didn’t give them much, hardly any shots at all. Their goaltender definitely was first star tonight, no question about that.”

Lehtonen, who picked up an assist in the game as well, was particularly impressive in the second and third periods, stopping all 29 shots he faced as the Stars held onto a 2-1 lead until the final minutes when they were finally able to add a couple of goals.

“That was fun. I felt I haven’t been my best the last three games, so it was nice to be able to help out and get some good saves,” Lehtonen said. “It’s just great to get two points.”

Lehtonen got all the goal support he would need early in the game. Benn scored on a wrap-around 1:37 into the game to put the Stars up 1-0. Michael Ryder made it a 2-0, taking a pass from Mike Ribeiro and firing a shot from the right circle past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

“[The strong start] was huge,” Benn said. “That’s something we want to do, we want to see if teams are ready. We learned our lesson against Chicago when they came out and gave it to us in the first couple minutes. That’s what we want to do to teams.”

The Flames’ Mike Cammalleri scored off a one-timer from the right circle at 12:27 of the first to make it a 2-1 game.

After that it was the Kari Lehtonen Show. At one point the shots over the final two periods were 26-9 in favor of Calgary, but the Flames couldn’t get another puck past Lehtonen.

“His level is rising in important games,” Gulutzan said of Lehtonen. “They threw a lot of bodies at him, but he’s a big guy and he fights through it.”

Benn sealed the win for the Stars, scoring his second of the night with 3:33 left in regulation. Steve Ott sent a cross-ice pass to Benn, who beat Kiprusoff with a blast from the right circle.

Stars captain Brenden Morrow round scored into an empty net with 1:28 remaining to make it a 4-1 final.

The two teams will meet again Monday night in Calgary.


*The Stars honored former defenseman Karlis Skrastins prior to Saturday’s game. Skrastins was killed when the plane carrying his KHL team crashed in Russia last September. A framed set that included an autographed Skrastins jersey, photo and puck raised $2,750 at silent auction held during the game.

*The Stars were 4-4 on the penalty kill in the game and are now 51-54 (94.4 percent) on the PK over their last 16 games.

*Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen has a two-game points streak, picking up assists in each of the last two games. The last Dallas goalie to pick up assists in consecutive games was Marty Turco in November 2007.

*Jake Dowell, Toby Petersen, Ryan Garbutt and Jordie Benn were healthy scratches for Dallas.

*Stars defenseman Mark Fistric missed his second straight game with an abdominal strain.

*Saturday’s attendance was 17,238.
The Dallas Stars will honor former defenseman Karlis Skrastins before Saturday's game against Calgary. Here's is the release from the Stars.
The Dallas Stars will honor former defenseman Karlis Skrastins in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, March 24, prior to the game between the Flames and Stars. Skrastins passed away when the plane carrying his KHL team (Lokomotiv) crashed last September in Russia. He played two seasons for the Dallas Stars (2009-11) among 11 total NHL campaigns.

Skrastins’ wife Zane and their three daughters (Karolina, Laurena and Vivian) will be at the pre-game ceremony which will include a puck drop at center ice. Youngest daughter Vivian was born about a month ago. The Skrastins learned about the pregnancy right before Karlis left for the KHL season in Russia.

The pre-game ceremony will include a “moment of applause” in recognition of the great man, friend, son, husband, father and teammate that Karlis Skrastins was.

The Stars have set up a trust fund for the three Skrastins girls, of which the Dallas Stars players have committed to pool together a significant donation. Stars owner Tom Gaglardi has offered to personally match the players’ final amount.

The Dallas Stars Foundation will host a silent auction during Saturday’s game to exclusively raise funds for the Skrastins girls trust fund. The item to be auctioned is a unique framed set, which includes a Karlis Skrastins autographed jersey, an autographed puck and an autographed picture. The silent auction will take place at the Dallas Stars Foundation table, located at section 101/102 on the main plaza concourse of American Airlines Center. Bidding closes at the end of the second period on Saturday.

“Love for Lokomotiv” bracelets will also be available for sale (at the table and at the Team Store), of which proceeds go towards the families lost in the plane crash.

Thursday tidbits: Brett Hull on Twitter

October, 13, 2011
Here are a few notes for a Thursday afternoon.

*Brett Hull is now on Twitter (Follow him here:@2ndBestHull). Among his first tweets:
"a quick hello to all my friends in Buffalo."

*The Dallas Stars’ official Hockey Fights Cancer Night is Thursday night vs. the St. Louis Blues. The Stars will be collecting donations and holding an auction. The items to be auctioned:

1. Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Wrapped Sticks used during warm-ups:

· Eriksson
· Ott
· Ribeiro
· Robidas
· Souray
· Lehtonen

The winners will have the opportunity to go downstairs after the game for a meet & greet with the player and get the sticks autographed.

2. Jamie Benn Game Worn HFC Helmet – winner will have the opportunity to go downstairs after the game for a meet & greet and get the helmet signed.

3. Razor’s Personal HFC Cancer Ties – winner will have the opportunity to go up to the booth after the game to watch the post-game show, meet Razor and get the ties signed.

More information is here.

Camp notes: A tribute to Karlis Skrastins

September, 17, 2011
CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island -- One of the first things the Dallas Stars did upon arriving in Prince Edward Island for training camp was pay tribute to Karlis Skrastins, the former Star who was killed in the crash of a plane carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv earlier this month.

At a team dinner Friday night there was a video tribute to Skrastins and a talk by Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk.

Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said it was an emotional tribute and there was a message to be taken from it.

“He exemplifies exactly what we want to be as a team. He is the perfect example,” Robidas said. “He never complained about anything. Over his career nobody really talked about him, but he really didn’t care and he always did his job and took pride in it. His job wasn’t easy, he played through pain and he would have done anything to help the team win. That’s the bottom line.

“That’s the identity that we want to have as a team. Every day for each other and everybody counts. Everybody has a job to do, whether you are the top line or the fourth line or even the guy that is not playing. Everybody is a part of it. There is not one individual that is bigger than the team. I think for this team that is the main thing. We are all in this together. It’s guys understanding their role and working hard at it.”

The Stars announced earlier this week that they would wear a “37” decal on their helmets to remember Skrastins, who wore No. 37 the two years he played in Dallas.

Time in PEI a chance to bond

This is the second straight year the Stars have started training camp in Prince Edward Island. It’s a chance for the players to spend time together and bond. It’s something the Stars think paid dividends last season, and the hope is it will pay off again this season.

“It is really important. You can’t really overemphasize how important it is for us to have this time together to really bond. It did wonders for us last year. We got off to a great start. I think our trip to PEI was a big part of that,” said forward Toby Petersen. “Guys came together really quickly. Last season we wanted to have a good focus in the preseason and get off to a good start, realizing the teams that jell in the preseason tend to get off to a great start in the regular season. We did that. Obviously, we didn’t win every game but we were paying attention to details and it carried through into the regular season. That’s something we can carry over into this season.”

Forward Steve Ott said it’s especially important this season with seven new players on the roster after GM Joe Nieuwendyk’s busy summer in the free agent market.

“The only way you are going to get to know somebody is to sit down and hang out with the guy and find out about him,” Ott said. “Being here is going to make that a lot easier and we’re going to be able to do that over the next few days.”

Fans make long trek from Dallas to watch camp

It’s not unusual to see a Dallas Stars fan from Prince Edward Island or one of the neighboring provinces around Charlottetown checking out the Stars. But seeing two Dallas Stars season ticketholders here in PEI is a different story.

Gail Newsome and Whitney Newell had about a 12 hour travel day to make it from Dallas to Charlottetown to watch the Stars over the next few days.

“We’re avid fans, avid fans,” Newsome explained.

She and Newell have been Stars fans since the 1998-1999 season.

“Whitney said we should do something different and get hockey season tickets, and I looked at her like she was crazy. I knew nothing about hockey,” said Newsome. “We bought a partial season ticket that year they won the Stanley Cup and we were addicted about two months into it. We’ve had full season tickets ever since.”

Newsome and Newell decided if the Stars came back to PEI this year they’d make the trip as well. Traveling to follow the Stars is nothing new to the pair. It’s becomes somewhat of a tradition.

“We went to Pittsburgh three years ago at Mellon Arena and then the year after that we went to San Jose,” said Newell. “Last year we didn’t make a game and this is our away game this year, if you will.”

They’ll check out some of the tourist attractions around PEI. The Shellfish Festival is on tap for Sunday. But the main focus is on Stars hockey, and the atmosphere is ideal.

“It’s so much cooler here. So we have cooler temperatures and hockey,” said Newsome. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Sunday’s schedule (Local time)

Here’s Sunday’s schedule. Prince Edward Island is two hours ahead of Dallas, so the scrimmage will be at 4:00 p.m. Central Time.

Group B (Charlottetown Civic Centre)

10:00 – 10:50 a.m. : Practice

Group A (Charlottetown Civic Centre)
11:00 – 11:50 a.m. : Practice

Scrimmage (Charlottetown Civic Centre)

6:00 p.m.
The Dallas Stars will wear a “37” decal on the back of their helmets this season in memory of defenseman Karlis Skrastins, the former Star who died last week in the crash of a plane carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv.

Skrastins wore No. 37 the last two seasons for the Stars.

The Stars also said they will hold a short remembrance and moment of silence prior to the team’s first home preseason game on Sept. 22 vs. Colorado, remembering Skrastins, former Avalanche players Wade Belak and Ruslan Salei, as well as the other NHL players and alumni who passed away this summer. Salei was killed in the KHL plane crash and Belak was found dead in Toronto earlier this month.

The club also said Monday that defenseman Brad Lukowich, who was scheduled to wear No. 37 this season, will change his number to 47.

A photo tribute to Karlis Skrastins

September, 8, 2011
Shannon Byrne, whose photos have been featured on this blog before, has put together a photo tribute to former Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins, who died in the crash of that Russian plane carrying members of the KHL team Lokomotiv.

You can see the photos here or by clicking on the image below.

#37 Karlis Skrastins tosses a t-shirt to the  fans on fan appreciation night.

More Karlis Skrastins reaction

September, 7, 2011
Here is some more reaction to the passing of former Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins, who was one of 43 people killed when a plane carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv crashed shortly after takeoff on Wednesday.

Former Star Brandon Segal had this to say on Twitter:
“Karlis you were an unbelievable player teammate and most of all friend. Words cannot express how much you will be missed.”

Former Star Brian Sutherby, also via Twitter, had this to say:
“Absolutely devastating... Karlis Skrastins was the toughest man I have ever played with. Thoughts & prayers for his wife and two young girls.”

Former Stars coach Marc Crawford, via Twitter:
“Karlis Skrastins 1 of the most Popular, Unselfish players ever in the NHL. Words can't describe his Quality. Thoughts, +Prayers for all KHL.”

Personally, I can’t add much else to what’s been sad about him on this sad day. Everyone knew what kind of player he was. He once played in 495 straight games. There was the shot blocking. He was also a nice guy, always friendly and always willing to take a few minutes if you had a question or two or three. May he rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children.

Another tragedy struck the NHL on Wednesday and this time it hit the Dallas Stars particularly hard. Former Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins was among at least 43 people killed when a plane carrying members of the KHL hockey team Lokomotiv crashed shortly after takeoff. Several others with NHL ties were on the plane.

“This has been a hard summer for the NHL and this is obviously devastating news again,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. “It hits home very hard here because Karlis was a great teammate for a lot of these guys and always gave his hardest on his ice and was very much loved by his teammates. He was a great father. This is tragic news. “

Skrastins, 37, played the last two seasons for the Stars, playing 153 games and registering 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists). He became a free agent in July and signed with Lokomotiv.

His former teammates in Dallas took the news hard.

“These guys are devastated,” said Nieuwendyk. “I know Kari Lehtonen came in this morning, heard the news and turned around and went right out of here home. I think he was close with Karlis. Everybody respected the way Karlis played and gave his all every night.”

Players started to hear the news early this morning, along with everybody else.

“It’s so sad,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas. “I heard the news this morning while training at the Michael Johnson center. I saw the report on the news and I was just in shock. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Karlis. It’s just too bad, leaving his wife and kids like this. It’s pretty sad. I knew (Lokomotiv head coach) Brad McCrimmon, who was with Detroit. It’s been a tough summer for the NHL. There have been a lot of deaths. I don’t know what to say.”

Forward Adam Burish sat next to Skrastins in the Stars’ locker room last season. He received an email about the crash while driving in to work out.

“Horrible news. It scary to think how many flights you’ve been on and how many flights you’ll go on this year. To have someone you know go down on one, it’s pretty scary and sad stuff,” Burish said. “He sat right next to me there last year. The day we start camp we jump on a flight and go to PEI, how do you not think about your buddy, your teammate, the guy you we’re just sitting next to in the locker room was on a flight that went down. You’ll probably always think about it. Anytime you play with a guy, have a relationship with a guy, anytime you go on a flight you may think about it a little bit.”

Burish remembered Skrastins as a fierce competitor on the ice and a gentleman off it.

“He was a kind, kind, kind man,” Burish said. “Quiet, always said ‘Hi’ in the morning and always said ‘Bye’when he left the rink. Just a kind, gentle guy. Just a freak on the ice. The ultimate competitor, played through anything tough. Just a kind, kind guy.”
FRISCO, Texas -- GM Joe Nieuwendyk said adding top six forward, a top defenseman and improving his team's depth are on the agenda as he looks forward to putting together the 2011-12 version of the Dallas Stars.

“I think our first hurdle is to find out what our budget will be and we don’t have that number yet. We should know that soon,” Nieuwendyk said.

Either way, the Stars did have permission to try to sign Brad Richards to extension during this past season, so there is money available.

“By them giving us the ability to go out and sign Brad it says that our payroll will be higher. So we’ll have some money to play with. Some of that will be allocated to the bumps in salaries that we have,” he said. “We’re looking at free agency, we have our list and the guys initially we want to target. There’s money to be spent and players to go get.”

It’s money that can be used to acquire players in free agency, which will not be particularly strong as far as top end talent, or via trade. Right now, the Stars have 17 likely roster players under contract for about $38 million. Last year they spent around $46 million to $47 million.

One of the priorities for 2011-12 is a top six forward with it becoming clear now that Richards will hit the free agent market and will not be back with the team. Nieuwendyk said that top six forward might come through a trade rather than overspending on one in free agency.

“I think we need a top 6 forward with Brad obviously moving on,” Nieuwendyk said. “Jamie [Benn] shifting to center is a very likely scenario. It’s not 100 percent set in stone yet. If you’ve Benner and Loui [Eriksson] and you’ve got [Mike Ribeiro] and Brenden [Morrow], there’s your top two (lines)and you fill in around them.”

While adding Alex Goligoski at last season’s trade deadline was a major boost to the defense, Nieuwendyk said adding a top defenseman is a focus as well.

“We’d like to improve our defense for sure,” he said. “Again, it may be through trade.”

Depth is another priority. It’s an area that hurt the Stars last season and something that has paid dividends for teams that have gone deep in the playoffs.

“One of the things last year, I felt our depth was not good. You look at the teams that have gone through the playoffs here, they use a lot of their people,” Nieuwendyk said. “We need to work on those third and fourth line guys.”

Dallas’ free agents

Nieuwendyk said the Stars haven’t made any decisions on the team’s own unrestricted free agents.

“We’ve talked to them briefly,” Nieuwendyk said. “[Assistant GM] Frank [Provenzano] has reached out to each one of them. We’ve asked them to be patient and in a holding pattern.”

The Stars GM said some will not be back and there’s a possibility some could return. Among the team’s key unrestricted free agents are: RW Jamie Langenbrunner, LW Brian Sutherby, RW Brandon Segal, RW Jason Williams, D Karlis Skrastins and D Jeff Woywitka.

Coaching search update

There’s not much new on the search for a head coach. Nieuwendyk has met with Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, Montreal assistant Kirk Muller, Nashville assistant Peter Horachek and former Stars, Flyers and Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock.

“All were impressive,” Nieuwendyk said. “Ideally, I’d like to have it done by the draft but even more certainly by free agency.”

Nieuwendyk said getting it done by free agency is important because as the Stars start talking to free agents those players will want to know who is coaching the team.

Slow going on Stars' search for coach

May, 18, 2011
The search for the next coach of the Dallas Stars has been slow going so far, but it should start to gain a little steam soon.

“We’re in the early stages,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who is currently out of town for a couple days. “When I get back we’ll start to formulate a plan moving forward here, but there hasn’t been any urgency on our part. We’ve been kind of waiting to see what kind of direction things would go as far as ownership. I think now we’re in a position where we can start to move forward.”

The resolution of the ownership situation continues to move along. Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi is in an exclusive negotiating period during which he is trying to finalize a deal for the team. The process would still have to run through bankruptcy court, but there is a chance it could be wrapped up in early June. It could take longer if there are some snags along the way.

So far there have been no formal interviews, but Nieuwendyk has had some contact “in one way or another” with potential candidates. Among that group appear to be Montreal assistant coach Kirk Muller, Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, Dallas Stars associate coach Willie Desjardins and former Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock, who just wrapped up a stint as head coach of Team Canada at the World Championship in Slovakia.

He expects to have initial talks with more, put together a list and get down to the serious business of conducting interviews.

“In my head there is no set number of interviews,” he said. “I would say three, four or five is probably the right range.”

Nieuwendyk said there is no time frame for concluding the search and no matter how long the process takes he is confident the Stars - who are one of five teams currently looking for a new head coach - will get a quality successor for Marc Crawford, who was fired at the end of the season.

“I think we feel comfortable that once we go through the process we’ll find the right guy,” Nieuwendyk said.

No movement on Stars’ UFAs

Nieuwendyk said movement concerning the Stars’ pending unrestricted free agents is on hold right now due to ownership situation.

“It’s kind of muddy because of the timing of the ownership, trying to sort out what our budget will be and then we can move forward from there,” Nieuwendyk said. “I have reached out to them to indicate to them that we haven’t made any decision and we’ll be in touch.”

Brad Richards, Jamie Langenbrunner, Karlis Skrastins, Brian Sutherby, Brandon Segal, Jeff Woywitka and Jason Williams are among the team’s key unrestricted free agents.

Stars top Avalanche 3-2

April, 8, 2011
The Dallas Stars kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win at Colorado Friday night. It was the fourth straight win for the Stars, who got goals from Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow. Kari Lehtonen stopped 15 of 17 shots.


“It’s never easy to come up here (Denver), but we battled through, played hard and everyone was involved. Kari mad the save at the right time for us. It was just a team effort. It was a good thing we won. It keeps the dream alive and keep believing that we still can get in.” – Stars center Mike Ribeiro

“Still alive. That’s what we were hoping to do. We are trying to win our games and hopefully we can get some help, but we don’t have any control over that. All we can do is focus on is to get ready for Sunday and a big game in Minnesota.” – Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas.

“It boils down to one game. We’ll worry about our game and hope for some help.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow

First period

The Stars played a strong first period, outshooting the Avalanche 11-2 and scoring the only goal at the 10:51 mark.

Defenseman Karlis Skrastins pinched in on the offensive play, sent the puck on net from the left circle and Mike Ribeiro deflected it past Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj.

There were no lineup changes for the Stars. Brad Lukowich and Tomas Vincour were scratched. Krys Barch, who was injured in the morning skate, Nicklas Grossman (knee) and Brian Sutherby (back) are out.

Second period

The Stars extended their lead 6:56 into the second on a goal by Loui Eriksson. Alex Goligoski made a nice play to keep the puck in at the blue line and moments later Brad Richards sent a pass from behind the goal line to Eriksson, who scored from close range.

The Stars had a chance to extend the lead with their third power play chance, but after a turnover Colorado’s Brandon Yip scored on a two-on-one to make it a 2-1 game with 6:52 left in the period.

That goal gave the Avalanche some life. They came close to tying the game, but Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made a nice pad save on Daniel Winnik with a little more than two minutes left in the period.

Third period

The Stars extended their lead to 3-1 just 40 seconds into the third period. Off the rush, Ribeiro sent a pass to Steve Ott, who quickly centered it and Morrow tapped it into an open net.

Colorado made it a 3-2 game 5:00 into the third when Jay McClement dropped a pass to Yip off the rush and Yip scored off a wrist shot to make it a 3-2 game.

Colorado pulled Budaj with 1:19 remaining and had a couple of chances. Ribeiro limped off the ice at the end of the game after blocking a shot in the final seconds.

Stars lineup



Raycroft (backup)

Injured: Grossman (knee), Sutherby (back), Barch (lower body)

Scratches: Vincour, Lukowich

Power play units


Penalty kill units


Stars fall 3-1 to Kings

April, 2, 2011
The Dallas Stars playoff chances took a devastating blow with a 3-1 loss in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon. The Stars, who are winless in their last six games (0-3-3), are five points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Stars, who have scored just nine goals over their last six games. Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of 31 shots.


“We put both goals in our net tonight. That puck luck, or whatever you want to call it, has not been going our way. All you can do is keep persevering. If we continue to work hard and continue to do those things, hopefully it will change. We started off the season with five wins in six games and we have to finish off the season with five wins. We’re still alive here, we’re still kicking. You just have to keep believing that your luck is going to change. That was a very even game. They got the break, we didn’t. End of story.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“It’s a cliché, but we got to work harder and the breaks with come. We felt pretty confident as the game went along and going into the third with a tie game, it was a game we could get. We just didn’t have that extra step to get to any of those loose pucks.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow


*The Stars are 9-15-6 in their last 30 games, including 8-13-6 since the All-Star break.

*The Stars have scored 9 goals during their six game winless streak (1.5 per game).

*The Stars are 8-10-5 against the Pacific Division this season.

*The Stars did not have a power play chance in a game for the first time this season.

*The Stars were not shorthanded in a game for the first time this season.

*Saturday’s game marked the first time that neither team had a power play chance in an NHL game since April 2, 2010 (Chicago at New Jersey).

First period

There were no penalties, no power plays and both teams had 12 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes.

Stars coach Marc Crawford did some line juggling, moving Jamie Benn to a line with Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson. Brandon Segal, who was back in the lineup, played on the right wing with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro.

Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins returned after missing four games with a leg laceration. Adam Burish, Nicklas Grossman and Brian Sutherby remain out with injuries. Brad Lukowich and Krys Barch were scratches.

Second period

The Kings took the lead at the 4:15 mark of the second when defenseman Willie Mitchell’s shot from the right point deflected off forward Wayne Simmonds, got through Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen and went in off the stick of defenseman Mark Fistric as he tried to sweep it out of the net.

But the Stars answered 1:13 later when Brad Richards’s shot from the right circle off the rush slipped through Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to make it a 1-1 game.

There were no power plays in the second period, but with nine seconds left the game’s first penalties were called as Stars center Mike Ribeiro and Kings forward Brad Richardson were given roughing minors.

Third period

Kings defenseman Matt Greene scored the lone goal of the third period, sending a shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off the skate of Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski and into the net with 7:10 remaining.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen for an extra attacker, but Kings captain Dustin Brown sealed the win with an empty net goal with 7.4 seconds remaining.

There were no penalties in the third period, resulting in a game in which neither team received a power play.

Stars lineup



Raycroft (backup)

Injured: Burish (leg), Grossman (knee), Sutherby (back)

Scratches: Barch, Lukowich

Power play units

No power plays

Penalty kill units

No penalty kills
The Dallas Stars practiced in Los Angeles Friday and both defenseman Karlis Skrastins (leg laceration) and Adam Burish (leg) were on the ice for the session.

Stars coach Marc Crawford said Skrastins, who has missed four games since getting cut on the thigh with a skate, is "likely ready" for Saturday's game against the Kings.

Tomorrow's game is an afternoon tilt, which means no morning skate, so we'll probably find out just prior to game time whether Skrastins definitely will be in the lineup.

We'll have to wait and see on Burish, who has missed the last eight games with a leg injury. He is officially listed as day to day.

Karlis Skrastins still out for Stars

March, 31, 2011
Dallas Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins will miss his fourth straight game with a leg laceration when the Dallas Stars take on the Sharks in San Jose tonight.

Skrastins hasn't played since he was cut on the thigh by a skate in the March 19 game against the Philadelphia Flyers at American Airlines Center.

The Stars are also without defenseman Nicklas Grossman, who has missed four games since suffering a sprained knee in that Philadelphia game.

Forwards Adam Burish (leg) and Brian Sutherby (back) remain out as well.