banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 3rd (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (0-0-0) at Dallas Stars (0-0-0), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars will unveil their new look in the regular season for the first time on Thursday night when they play host to the Florida Panthers.

It was an offseason of change for the Stars, who missed the playoffs for a fifth straight year last season. They hired a new general manager in Jim Nill and brought in Lindy Ruff to be the new head coach.

Ruff, former longtime head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, is the 22nd head coach in club history and seventh since the club relocated to Dallas. He is the 12th-winningest head coach in league history and one of only 17 to reach the 500-win mark.

The 53-year-old will get an early chance to impress the home crowd as the Stars play two straight in Dallas to begin the season before playing five of six on the road.

"I'm psyched. I can't wait. I am disappointed that we have one more night to go. It's fun. You have that anxiety to get it going," Ruff told the Stars' official website of opening the season. "It's not just another game. It's the start of something really new. It's something really exciting. I don't look at it as just another game. It's a lot of different guys that we've put together and a lot of guys that have gotten along well together as a team. I am excited to see that develop."

In addition to new uniforms and logos, Dallas will have plenty of fresh faces on the ice. The Stars swung a deal with the Boston Bruins on July 4 to get talented but controversial forward Tyler Seguin as well as veteran Rich Peverley for a package of players that included NHLer Loui Eriksson.

Dallas also traded for another veteran in center Shawn Horcoff and added the 39-year Sergei Gonchar to the blue line.

Forward Valeri Nichushkin, the 10th overall pick of the 2013 draft, is also expected to debut tonight, while Jaime Benn will play his first game as the club's captain. He led the Stars with 33 points in 41 games last season.

Dallas has won each of its last three home openers and is 11-0-3 in its last 14 such games. Kari Lehtonen is likely to get the start in net to try and extend that streak after going 15-14-3 with a 2.66 goals against average and .916 save percentage in 36 appearances last campaign.

Ruff is also expected to have defenseman Trevor Daley in the lineup tonight as he returns from neck surgery, though Peverley isn't likely to play until the weekend because of an irregular heartbeat.

Defenseman Aaron Rome is a few weeks away from returning from hip surgery.

The Florida Panthers begin their 20th anniversary season on a four-game road trip and less than a week after being sold to businessman Vincent Viola. The Panthers added several veterans after the sale, including goaltender Tim Thomas.

Thomas will get the start tonight, his first NHL action since April 25, 2012 during the postseason with Boston. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner had a ton of success with the Bruins from 2002-12, winning a Stanley Cup with the club, but took a leave of absence from the league last year.

"I think there's a positive energy," said the 39-year-old Thomas. "They're really looking forward to growing and getting better in the organization. I think new ownership brought a very positive direction to the team."

The Panthers were in need of goaltending help due to knee surgery undergone by Scott Clemmensen. He begins the season on injured reserve, while captain Ed Jovanovski (hip surgery) and forward Sean Bergenheim (hip/abdominal surgery) are also out.

The Panthers snapped a 10-season playoff drought in the spring of 2012, but finished dead last in the league a season ago. They struggled at both ends of the ice, but have a host of young talent to build on.

That includes left winger Jonathan Huberdeau, last season's Calder Trophy winner who ended the season tied for the lead in rookie scoring with 31 points on 14 goals and 17 assists. He'll be joined on opening night by 18-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov, the second overall pick of the 2013 draft.

Dmitry Kulikov, 22, and 21-year-old Erik Gudbranson off youth at the blue line alongside veterans Brian Campbell and eventually Jovanovski.

The Panthers have won three of their last four versus the Stars, claiming a 6-0 road victory in the last meeting on Nov. 15, 2011. Clemmensen stopped all 25 shots he faced.

Florida has won three straight and five of its last six in Dallas, having not lost there since Dec. 7, 2005.

10/03 14:31:20 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Hurricanes Oilers Hockey 7
Eberle powers Oilers past Hurricanes 6-3

It was just last week that the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes were the two remaining teams without a win in the NHL.

Related Stories
  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Michigan at Michigan State

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Half
UVA 24
UNC 21
 
1st
NCCU 0
SAVST 0
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
3rd
WISC 31
MD 0
 
3rd
SMU 7
MEM 34
 
3rd
ILL 21
MINN 10
 
3rd
RICE 17
UNT 21
 
3rd
NEB 28
RUTG 10
 
3rd
KST 13
TEX 0
 
3rd
ARK 38
UAB 3
 
Half
UVA 24
UNC 21
 
2nd
EMICH 7
NILL 14
 
2nd
NAVY 14
SJST 10
 
1st
BST 3
AKR 0
 
1st
GASTATE 3
GASO 0
 
1st
TOL 0
UMASS 0
 
1st
WMICH 0
OHIO 0
 
1st
COL 0
UCLA 7
 
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
1st
NCCU 0
SAVST 0