Dallas Stars and Texas Stars players hit the ice together in Frisco for a scrimmage Tuesday morning. Players from the two teams were mixed together, and played three periods including one that involved a lot of special teams play.
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said if was good for players who haven’t played any games this season to compete with others who have already been going strong for half a season.
“I saw the pace of the guys who have played 40 games,” Gulutzan said. “I think it was real important for our guys to get banged around and play through that pace. It wasn’t the TV timeout pace, it was let’s go for 18 minutes and I think that is going to help us come Saturday. It might not help us tomorrow, but Saturday it will help us.”
The scrimmage provided an opportunity for Stars goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Richard Bachman – who did not play during the lockout – to get some game-like action under their belts.
“It was important for Bacher and Lehts to get minutes, see PK’s, five-on-four, five-on-five and battle in the crease a little bit. It was what our goalies needed,” said Gulutzan. “I thought both goalies were good, both were solid.”
Lehtonen said the scrimmage was just what he needed.
“It was something I was really looking for after I saw that we didn’t have a preseason game,” said Lehtonen. “I was happy that we were trying to simulate a real game. It was good because in practice situations are a lot different than in a game. You need to get used to playing.”
It was also a chance for the Stars to get some work in on special teams in game situations. The power play still needs some work.
“I thought the PK did a good job,” Gulutzan said. “The power play is one of the things you want to get off on the right foot right away, that’s why we did that power play-PK battle at the end. We’ll do some more power play work tomorrow, but there are certainly some kinks we have to work out. We videotaped the game, so we’ll look at those power plays, dissect them and have a little put together for them tomorrow.”
Forward Reilly Smith scored two goals in the scrimmage. Brenden Morrow, Loui Eriksson, Colton Sceviour and Max Fortunus also tallied.
Larsen, Rome sit out last part of scrimmage
Stars defensemen Philip Larsen (elbow) and Aaron Rome (groin) sat out the last part of the scrimmage due to minor injuries. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said the team isn’t taking any chances, even if an issue is a small one.
“There’s one of those tweaky groin things. Romer sat out, but he could have went. It’s precautionary,” said Gulutzan. “We told our guys, we told (head athletic trainer Dave) Zeis that if there are little nagging things that crop up, we need to shut them down right away. Lars, he banged up his elbow a little bit. Not serious.”
Dallas practice lineup
The Dallas practice lineup stayed the same on Tuesday, although the defense pairings changed due to Monday’s trade of Mark Fistric and a few players moved around in the scrimmage. On the defense side of things, Brenden Dillon moved into take Fistric’s spot on the pairing with Philip Larsen.
During the scrimmage, Jordie Benn was paired with Jamie Oleksiak on defense.
Radek Faksa centered Texas Stars forwards Mike Hedden and Austin Smith.
Right wing Brett Ritchie played on a line with Texas Stars Toby Petersen and Luke Gazdic.
Antoine Roussel centered Texas Stars forwards Alex Chiasson and Colton Sceviour.
Power play units