Dallas Stars expect to add Jamie Benn, Jeff Woywitka back to the fold

After missing three games because of post-concussion syndrome caused by a rugged hit by New York Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn should return for tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers.

Heika writes that Benn will join Steve Ott and Brandon Segal on the Stars’ third line tonight.

In addition to the return of Benn, Heika said that defenseman Jeff Woywitka (great name) will probably be back in the Stars’ lineup tonight. Of course, with Woywitka coming in, another defenseman will be scratched. Heika discusses that decision making process.

The question that could be asked is whether Fistric is the right player to take out. Fistric is the low man among defensemen in average time on ice per game at 15:15, but it certainly would be worth the discussion to see if maybe Trevor Daley , Nicklas Grossman, Karlis Skrastins or Matt Niskanen was more deserving of a healthy scratch. Daley had a bad game Monday, but he is their top penalty killing guy. Niskanen is pretty much the first option for a defenseman on the power play right now, so he doesn’t seem to be a possibility to come out any time soon. Still, Fistric doesn’t seem like a guy who needs a game off.

Either way, though, the Stars defense could use a boost. They’ve been giving up 38 shots per game, the second highest average in the league behind the Anaheim Ducks (who average 39.6 shots allowed per game). Woywitka won’t heal all their wounds, but perhaps he’ll help them be a little more responsible in their own end.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.