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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
MIN
 
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CHA
TOR
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
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PIT 1
NYY 2
 
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HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
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ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
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STL
HOU
 
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BOS
MIA
 
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TAM
MIN
 
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PHI
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ATL
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BAL
 
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DET
 
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CHC
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CLE
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SEA
 
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ARI
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NYY
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Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
Final
POR 94
DAL 75
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IND
CHI
 
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WAS
MIA
 
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ORL
SAC
 
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CHA
TOR
 
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PHI
UTA
 
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ATL
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
 
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HOU
DET
 
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MEM
LAL
 
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BRK
PHO
 
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SAN
DEN
 
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GSW
DAL
 
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MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
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LEH 62
AMER 68
 
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SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 78
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Thursday
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
Final
DRAK 50
BRAD 52
Final
LBSU 69
CSNO 58
 
Final
UCI 68
CSFU 62
 
Final
UCD 61
UCR 59
 
Final
ARST 67
STAN 62
Final
WASU 59
UTAH 67
12:00pm Today
MVSU
ARKPB
 
12:00pm Today
CSOU
LONG
 
1:05pm Today
WICHS
SILL
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
3:35pm Today
ILLST
EVAN
 
6:00pm Tonight
HIGH
GWEBB
 
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UNCG
SAMF
 
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ELON
TOWS
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
AKR
 
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BUF
BGU
 
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DART
BRO
 
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WMICH
CMICH
 
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PENN
CLMB
 
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PRIN
CORN
 
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OU
ILLCH
 
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OHIO
UMO
 
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BST
NILL
 
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EMICH
TOL
 
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BRAD
 
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MURST
MORE
 
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CCAR
UNCA
 
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HARV
YALE
 
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DREX
COC
 
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CITA
FUR
 
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USF
PAC
 
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BAY
TTU
 
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EKENT
BEL
 
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CLST
DET
 
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INDST
LOYC
 
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SCU
LMU
 
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BOS 3
CAL 4
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WAS 1
MIN 2
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PHI 3
STL 1
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FLA 3
DAL 4
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TAM 4
TOR 2
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NAS 3
NYI 4
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ARI 3
VAN 2
Final
LOS 4
MON 3
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NJD
CLB
 
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CAR
MIN
 
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OTT
BUF
 
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CAL
 
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CHI
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT