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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
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Wednesday
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
 
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
 
8th
CWS 9
TOR 7
 
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
 
10th
PHI 4
NYM 4
 
8th
SEA 6
TAM 3
 
6th
TEX 3
CLE 3
 
2nd
BOS 1
MIN 2
 
6th
SFG 5
MIL 1
 
6th
ARI 4
STL 6
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
OAK
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
12:10pm Wednesday
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Wednesday
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Wednesday
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Wednesday
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Wednesday
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Wednesday
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Wednesday
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Wednesday
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Wednesday
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Wednesday
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Wednesday
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Wednesday
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Wednesday
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Wednesday
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Wednesday
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
3rd
ATL 57
CLE 73
 
9:00pm Wednesday
HOU
GSW
 
8:30pm Thursday
CLE
ATL
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
8:30pm Saturday
ATL
CLE
 
2nd Intermission
NYR 2
TAM 1
 
8:00pm Wednesday
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Wednesday
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR