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.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”