Dallas Stars: Ryan Garbutt
Most of the complaints from the night before morphed into resolve Tuesday. Several Ducks players talked about playing with more of an edge.
“We’ve got to be smart but I think everyone’s got to dig deep here,” Ducks center Andrew Cogliano said. “Including myself, there’s a lot more, a lot of room for us to play harder. The bottom line is they played hard last night. They got under guys’ skin. They played playoff hockey and I don’t think we did that. I think we played a regular-season game last night and talking for myself first and foremost, we need to bear down and come to the rink ready to battle, ready to fight hard and we’ll go from there.”
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau thinks there’s an easy way to respond to the physical play: score goals on the power play.
“If you’re not going to make them pay when they’re doing things, automatically they’re going to keep doing things because they have no fear of you,” Boudreau said. “So, that to me is the biggest thing is to score some goals.”
Captain Ryan Getzlaf still wasn’t thrilled with Stars forward Antoine Roussel after the two exchanged some punches in the face in Game 3. Roussel didn’t quit punching even after the linesman attempted to break things up, which led to Roussel getting an extra two minutes in the penalty box.
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.
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.
“I’m just trying to get my feet wet, try to bring as much energy as I can,” Smith said. “Try not to turn the puck over too much and get it deep. Just try to limit my speed and limit turnovers.”
When it was pointed out to Smith that he is a goal scorer, the 20-year-old winger had this to say.
“I am not going to pass up shots for sure,” Smith said. “If I get the opportunity I am going to use the assets I have. If that comes around that’s great, but first of all I want to make sure I am not a liability on defense.”
Smith is expected to open the game on a line with Ryan Garbutt and Tom Wandell.
“I think we just start him and see how he goes, let him get the jitters out and then let the game dictate how you use him and let his play dictate how you use him,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We have no big visions of grandeur. We want to get him in, get him accustomed and see how he goes."
Radek Dvorak (ankle), Erik Nystrom (leg) and Mark Fistric (abdominal strain) are all out tonight. Dvorak and Nystrom are day-to-day and are doubtful for Friday. Fistric is not expected to play on the road trip.
Here’s the projected Dallas lineup for tonight.
"What a warrior, 17 years in the league and getting shot up in the ankle to get through," said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. "He had a little aggravation from the last game, we sit him here and that’s four days, close to five, and maybe he can be ready for Edmonton. If not, we can go two more and a get a little more healthier player."
Tomas Vincour is expected to take Dvorak's place on a line with Eric Nystrom and Vernon Fiddler.
Ryan Garbutt, who has been a healthy scratch the last four games, is also expected to be in the lineup tonight as well.
Kari Lehtonen gets the start in goal.
Reilly Smith, signed yesterday to an entry-level contract, skated with the team but is still working on getting a work visa so that he can be eligible to play.
Here's the Stars projected lineup.
"Feeling fine, normal," Benn said.
The first hit came when Phoenix captain Shane Doan caught in him in the head with an elbow. Doan, who received an elbowing minor during the game for the hit, faces possible suspension. He has a disciplinary hearing with the league later this afternoon. Benn was asked if he was disappointed with Doan's hit.
"No, it's hockey. It's so fast out there, things happen," Benn said. "I'll let the league deal with it."
Benn also was shaken up in overtime when he was hit hard into the boards by Phoenix's Antoine Vermette. Benn received some assistance in the tunnel leading to the locker room, but returned in time for the shootout.
"It was a tough play. I was tripped into the boards and slid in there," Benn said. "It was a little bit of a scramble. I fell into the boards pretty hard, got up and toe-picked (fell donw) and skated off."
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Benn will be fine for Thursday's game against Vancouver.
Defenseman Mark Fistric is out for Thurday's game with abdominal strain. He left the game in the second period and did not return.
"Fisty is out. He's a got a little ab strain. He's going to be a day-to-day guy. He's a little sore today," Gulutzan said. "Pards (Adam Pardy) will come in tomorrow."
The Stars held an optional skate today. Goalies Kari Lehtonen and Richard Bachman were both on the ice along with Pardy, Philip Larsen, Toby Petersen, Ryan Garbutt, Tomas Vincour and Jordie Benn.
Bachman has won his last two starts, stopping 29 shots in a 5-2 win at Vancouver on March 6 and making 26 saves in a 3-1 win at Chicago on February 23. Bachman is 8-3-1 this season with a 2.54 goals against average and .917 save percentage.
The Stars are playing their first game in Winnipeg since April 3, 1996. The NHL returned to Winnipeg when the Atlanta Thrashers franchise was relocated there last spring.
Stars forward Ryan Garbutt is a Winnipeg native, but he didn’t grow up a Jets fan. He was an Edmonton Oilers fan as a kid, but it’s still going to be exciting for Garbutt to play in Winnipeg Wednesday night.
“The whole city was buzzing (when they got the NHL team in the spring). They still are, especially because they are fighting for a playoff spot,” Garbutt said. “It’s a big game for us, so it’s going to be a great feeling to go in there and beat them, especially for me. I don’t have any connection to the Jets. I don’t like them that much.”
Winnipeg is six points out of a playoff spot entering tonight’s game, so they are desperate for points. These big points for the Stars as they are try to maintain their spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Stars likely will go with the same lineup tonight. Defenseman Sheldon Souray (lower body) and right wing Radek Dvorak (ankle) remain out.
Dvorak injured is ankle in Saturday's 2-0 win over Anaheim. Souray will miss his second straight game with a lower body injury.
With Dvorak out of the lineup, Adam Burish will play on the right wing with left wing Eric Nystrom and center Vernon Fiddler.
Ryan Garbutt, who has a scratch the last game, will be back in on the fourth line with center Tom Wandell and right wing Tomas Vincour.
Here's the projected lineup for the Stars tonight:
"He's a little sore today. He won't be a game player for tomorrow," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I'd say he's 50-50 for the Tuesday-Wednesday games (at Minnesota and Winnipeg)."
Steve Ott, who missed Thursday night's game with back spasms, is questionable for Saturday.
"We'll see after the morning skate," Gulutzan said.
Brenden Morrow, who has missed the last 18 games with neck/back issue, took part in Friday's optional skate. He's getting closer to returning, but whether he'll play Saturday is up in the air.
"Right now it's one day at a time. I got a good skate in today. I'll see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow," Morrow said. "I think tomorrow is questionable. If I don't get in there tomorrow, I am expected in Minnesota at least."
Morrow will skate with the team Saturday morning and determination on his status will be made then.
"I think we'll see after the morning skate where he is at," Gulutzan said. "Brenden and I are going to talk here shortly to see where he is at. I would say Tuesday Brenden is for sure and tomorrow, we'll see after the morning skate."
Defenseman Mark Fistric, who left Thursday's game early in the third period, is fine, according to Gulutzan.
"He'll be a game player tomorrow," Gulutzan said.
The players taking part in the optional skate today were Morrow, Kari Lehtonen, Richard Bachman, Jake Dowell, Tomas Vincour, Ryan Garbutt, Toby Petersen and Adam Pardy.
Lehtonen will start in goal tomorrow.
Ott took part in the Stars skate Thursday morning, but left the ice early. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said at the time that Ott wasn't feeling well.
Ryan Garbutt took Ott's spot on the Stars' second line with center Jamie Benn and right wing Adam Burish in Thursday night's game.
Jake Dowell, activated from IR Thursday afternoon after missing seven games with a broken finger, was back in the lineup. Dowell took Garbutt's spot on the fourth line.
The Texas Stars announced their Clear Day Roster Tuesday. The 22 players on the roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the AHL regular season and in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs, unless an emergency arises due to recall, injury or suspension. Teams can also add signed junior players or players on amateur tryout contracts after their respective junior or college seasons are complete.
Forward Ryan Garbutt is not on Texas’ Clear Day Roster, an indication that he is staying in Dallas for the remainder of the season. Tomas Vincour is on the Texas roster, which means he is eligible to be assigned back to the AHL.
Here is the Texas Clear Day Roster:
Goaltenders: Tyler Beskorowany, Andrew Raycroft
Defensemen: Jordie Benn, Jace Coyle, Brenden Dillon, Maxime Fortunus, Brad Lukowich, Drew Schiestel, Dan Spang
Forwards: Angelo Esposito, Michael Forney, Matt Fraser, Luke Gazdic, Scott Glennie, Eric Godard, Mike Hedden, Travis Morin, Colton Sceviour, Mathieu Tousignant, Tomas Vincour (recalled), Francis Wathier, Shawn Weller
Texas also has four players in residence: Scott Campbell, Matt Case, Jake Hauswirth, Hubert Labrie . Those players can only be used during the remainder of the regular season or the playoffs if a combination of three members of the 22-man roster are injured, recalled or suspended.
Sawada sent to St. John’s
The Dallas Stars assigned right wing Ray Sawada to St. Johns of the AHL on Friday. Sawada, Dallas’s 2nd round pick (52nd overall) in 2004, played only 26 games with Texas this season due to injuries.
The past week
Texas went 1-1-0-0 over the past week. The Stars are 25-28-2-2 on the season and rank 15th in the AHL’s Western Conference. They are currently 11 points out of a playoff spot.
Texas’ road losing streak hit eight games with a 2-1 loss at Abbotsford Friday night. Angelo Esposito scored the lone goal for Texas and Andrew Raycroft stopped 27 of 29 shots.
On Sunday, Texas snapped the road losing streak with a 4-1 victory at Abbotsford. Luke Gazdic scored two goals and Francis Wathier and Colton Sceviour also scored. Tyler Beskorowany stopped 30 shots to get the win in goal.
Texas now returns home for a seven-game homestand.
The week ahead
March 7, vs. Grand Rapids
March 9, vs. San Antonio
March 10, vs. San Antonio
3/6: D Cameron Brodie released from PTO.
3/6: Buffalo assigned D Drew Schiestel from Rochester (AHL) to Texas (AHL).
3/6: F Nick Layton assigned to Allen (CHL) from Texas (AHL).
3/2: Dallas assigned RW Ray Sawada to St. John’s (AHL) from Texas (AHL).
3/2: Winnipeg assigned LW Michael Forney from Colorado (ECHL) to Texas (AHL).
3/2: Texas acquired LW Shawn Well from St. John’s (AHL) for future considerations.
The Idaho Steelheads went 0-2-0-0 over the past week and their winless streak hit 10 games (0-8-0-2). The Steelheads are 23-29-2-5 on the season and rank 7th in the ECHL’s Western Conference.
"Progressing pretty good," Morrow said after coming off the ice. "This is the first skate in about three weeks and so far no pain. I guess that’s a good sign."
Morrow hasn't played since Feb. 2 at San Jose. He's been doing off-ice work on the neck and back issues.
"It hasn’t been fun. It’s been a real strict core regimen to help stabilize the spine and try to relieve the stress on certain joints that I guess were causing me some problems," Morrow said. "It hasn’t been fun, but the guys have been playing well and that makes it a lot easier."
Morrow skated on his own Thursday at one end of the rink during the Stars' optional practice in Frisco. He also took part in a shootout drill at the end of practice. He said it's going to take some time before he's ready to play in a game.
"I am nowhere near game shape. It’s probably going to be a week or so before I am in any action," Morrow said. "It’s going to be skating and different movements that my body hasn’t been in and make sure I am not causing any pain and then we’ll start getting in some practices, getting bumped around a bit. I’ll take it slow at the beginning and then ramp it up before getting into a game."
*Besides Brenden Morrow, other players on the ice in Frisco on Thursday morning included Richard Bachman, Philip Larsen, Tom Wandell, Ryan Garbutt, Toby Petersen, Adam Pardy, Tomas Vincour and Jake Dowell.
*Morrow and Dowell (broken finger) will not travel with the team, and will continue to skate in Frisco.
*Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Kari Lehtonen will start in goal Friday against Edmonton.
“At the end of the day we had a responsibility to put the best team on the ice right now to challenge to make the playoffs,” Nieuwendyk said. “There’s no doubt I’ve been pleased with the way we’ve been playing lately. I know we have a tough road ahead, but it’s also a message to this team that we do believe in them and that this group has shown some resiliency.”
So, Nieuwendyk stood pat at the deadline. He opted not to move a player like Steve Ott, who was believed to be highly coveted. Sheldon Souray, another guy the Stars probably could have dealt, stayed as well.
“No moves today,” Nieuwendyk said just after the deadline passed Monday afternoon. “A pretty uneventful day league-wide, it seemed, but our plan has been pretty consistent, we weren’t going to do anything unless it made sense for now and for the future. Nothing in that regard really presented itself. I think it made it challenging in the last few weeks, too, with the way our team has performed and that’s a good thing, because they really stepped up and shown they were here for the fight.”
The Stars have won four straight games, moved into a playoff spot and are now putting heat on some of the teams ahead of them in the standings. They are just one point out of seventh and just three points out of both sixth place and the Pacific Division lead.
“The way I look at this deadline is we’ve got some pretty good players coming back to us in Brenden Morrow and Jamie Benn, so let’s not forget about that either,” Nieuwendyk said. “With the boost of energy that Ryan Garbutt has given us, we have some pieces that are going to help us going forward here. “
Benn, who has missed the last six games with a leg injury, is expected to skate with the team on Tuesday, and could play Wednesday. Morrow, who has missed the last 13 games with neck, shoulder and back issues, could start skating later this week.
The return of those two players will be a big boost to a team that has turned things around of late and seems to be getting things in order at the right time.
“Three weeks ago, it was hard to figure out what our team was all about, we were having a lot of difficulties, so that’s been encouraging to see how this group, in the absence of Benn and Morrow, how they’ve really come together,” Nieuwendyk said. “I think Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson have stepped up and provided what a number one line should provide and we’re getting great minutes always from the (Vernon) Fiddler line. I think Adam Burish has stepped his game up, I think a lot of guys have stepped their game up and said, ‘Hey, we got to make a push here.’
“We’re in the soup with about five other teams for those final two playoff spots and I think our guys are believing now, now that we’ve beaten a team like Vancouver, that we’re going to be a tough opponent.”
It’s funny how a couple of wins can change things. After going 2-0-0 on their road trip, the Dallas Stars find themselves holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings. They pushed themselves into that position with a brilliant third period effort Thursday night, scoring three goals to rally past the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1 at the United Center.
“It was two real big points,” said Stars forward Loui Eriksson. “We’ve got to keep building here.”
The Stars are now tied with Los Angeles and Calgary at 66 points but they own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins and that is what has them in eighth place.
The Stars got a big performance Thursday from goaltender Richard Bachman, who was making his first start in three weeks. He stopped 26 shots, including some huge ones in the second period when Chicago dominated play.
“It was nice to get back in there and see some action,” Bachman said. “I felt pretty calm there for a crazy environment. It was a great game and felt solid.”
The Stars trailed 1-0 going into the third period in Chicago, but dominated the third period. The Stars, who had just 10 shots entering the third period, outshot the Blackhawks 15-5 over the final 20 minutes and got goals from Steve Ott, Eriksson and Michael Ryder to secure the victory.
“Our leadership group took a stand between the second and third, and we got going,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.
Gulutzan juggled lines in the third period, putting Ott on a line with Ryan Garbutt and Adam Burish and that trio paid dividends. After the Blackhawks won a draw in their own zone, the Stars kept them pinned in and Ott deflected a Trevor Daley shot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to tie the game with 10:35 left in regulation.
The Stars took the lead with 5:02 left when Mike Ribeiro put a shot on net from near the right point and Ryder tipped it into the net forward what would turn out to be the game-winner.
“We know that we didn’t have many shots generated going into the third. We were still in the game, we just had to make sure that we got more pucks to the net and stepped our game up,” said Ryder. “We knew we had to play a hard 20 and we did that. We threw pucks at the net and got some traffic.”
Just 1:14 after he scored to give the Stars the lead, Ryder put a shot on net from the right circle that hit traffic, went up in the air and Eriksson put it into the net.
The Blackhawks dominated the second period, outshooting the Stars 16-5 but getting only one puck past Bachman. After Michael Frolik came out from behind the goal line and tried to put a puck on net, Marian Hossa scored during the ensuing scramble.
Hossa came close to making a 2-0 score in the final seconds of the second period, but Bachman got a piece of his shot from the slot and the puck hit the outside of the post. Earlier in the period, Bachman made a diving save on Jimmy Hayes when the game was still scoreless.
The Stars return home Friday to take on the Minnesota Wild. The Stars will be looking for their first three-game winning streak since the middle of December, and possibly the beginning of that run that has been eluding them.
“We’re all looking for that run at this time of the year, but the reality is it is very tough,” said Gulutzan. “But picking up two points whenever you can get them, especially in a tough building like this, is good. Now we’ve got to win at home.”
*The Stars did not have a power play in a game for the second time this season. The Stars have had just two power plays over the last three games.
*Stars center Jamie Benn (leg) missed his fourth straight game. He is doubtful for Friday.
*Stars forward Jake Dowell (broken finger) and left wing Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) were both out as well.
*D Adam Pardy and LW Matt Fraser were healthy scratches for Dallas.
*Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. Toews was involved in a minor car accident Thursday, but was not injured.
*The Stars are now 6-4-2 in the first game of back-to-backs this season. They are 0-9-2 in second games.
Steve Ott, Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars. Richard Bachman was superb in net for the Stars, stopping 26 of 27 shots to improve to 7-3-1 on the season. Chicago had a four-game winning streak come to an end.
The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 6-5 in the period and both goaltenders had sharp saves.
Stars goalie Richard Bachman stopped a point blank bid by Jimmy Hayes with Chicago on the power play early in the period and then stopped defenseman Nick Leddy’s bid from the left circle late in the period.
Chicago’s Corey Crawford stopped a shorthanded bid by Adam Burish and a good look by Tomas Vincour from the slot.
The Blackhawks had the only power play of the period.
The Blackhawks outshot the Stars 16-5 in the second period and scored the only goal of the period to take a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
The goal came at the 9:32 mark. Michael Frolik came out from behind the goal line, tried to put a puck on net and Marian Hossa scored in the ensuing scramble.
Hossa came close to scoring in the final seconds of the period, but Bachman got a piece of his shot from the slot and it hit the outside of the post.
There were no power plays in the second period. The Blackhawks had a 22-10 shots advantage through the first 40 minutes.
The Stars brought a strong push in the third period and scored three goals to surge past the Blackhawks.
Glen Gulutzan juggled his lines, moving Steve Ott to a line with Ryan Garbutt and Burish and the trio paid dividends. Ott tipped a Trevor Daley shot past Crawford at the 9:28 mark to tie the game at 1-1.
A little more than five minutes later, the Stars took a 2-1 lead when Mike Ribeiro put a shot on net from near the right point and Michael Ryder tipped it into the net at the 14:58 mark.
Just 1:14 later the Stars struck again when Ryder put a shot on net that deflected off traffic, up into the air and Loui Eriksson knocked it into the net.
The Stars had a 15-5 shots advantage in the third period.
Injured: Benn (leg), Morrow (neck/shoulder), Dowell (finger)
Scratched: Pardy, Fraser
Every game is big at this point of the season and the importance of Thursday's game isn’t lost on the Dallas Stars. A win will help them move them within to at least one point of eighth place and, if Calgary loses to Phoenix, the Stars would move into the top eight in the West.
“We look every single day to see what the Western Conference standings look like. We want to be a playoff team obviously and continue to build from there,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “You look at even third place isn’t too far away. I know it’s stretching and not being completely realistic at this time, but it’s becoming a lot closer every single day. Hopefully we can find a way to continue to get points.”
Third place in the West is a stretch, but not totally out of reach. The Stars are five points behind San Jose, but the Sharks do have a couple games in hand.
But right now just getting into the playoff picture is the goal, and to do that and solidify a spot the Stars are going to have to do something they really haven’t done since the beginning of the season – put together a good run.
“If we can find a way to put three, four or above (wins) together that’s going to continue to a put pressure on a lot of other teams,” Ott said. “You’ve seen streaks already. Phoenix had a great streak they just put together and that’s why they are where they are right now. We need to find one. We need to find a way to string a few together and collect those valuable points at this crunch time of the season.”
Sheldon Souray will be back after missing seven games with a foot injury and will be paired with Philip Larsen to start the game, according to Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. Adam Pardy will be the healthy scratch.
“The last three games he’s played real well,” Gulutzan said of Pardy. “It’s real good to have that depth on D, and we’ve got competition again. I think Pards have proved his worth coming back in here a little bit and got himself back on the map to play. Now we’ve got some competition for jobs.”
Adam Burish, who missed the last game due to illness, will be back in the lineup. He will play on the fourth line with Ryan Garbutt and Toby Petersen. Garbutt will play center, which is his natural position.
Matt Fraser, called up from the Texas Stars due to Jake Dowell breaking a finger, will be a healthy scratch.
Jamie Benn (leg) and Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) are still out.
Richard Bachman is in goal tonight.
Here’s the Stars’ projected lineup.
Your request cannot be processed at the current time. Please check back as we will work to correct the problem as quickly as possible.
Please feel free to send us any comments or feedback.
Your request cannot be processed at the current time. Please check back as we will work to correct the problem as quickly as possible.
Please feel free to send us any comments or feedback.