Dallas Stars

Zetterberg (Jamie Benn head punch) doubtful for tonight

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Detroit could be without leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg this evening when it takes on the Ducks in Anaheim.

Zetterberg was hurt during Saturday’s wild 7-6 OT win over Dallas after taking this shot from Stars captain Jamie Benn in the second period:

As the video shows, Benn received a two-minute roughing minor on the play. Zetterberg finished the second period but left the game after taking just one 15-second shift in the third. He didn’t practice yesterday and Detroit didn’t hold a morning skate today.

The Wings captain is currently listed as “doubtful” for tonight, per GM Ken Holland. It would be the first game the 34-year-old has missed all season — this has been a banner campaign health-wise for Zetterberg, who missed 37 games last year with back problems.

NHL on NBC: Welcome to Hockey Day in America

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NBC continues its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign with Sunday’s Hockey Day in America tripleheader. Coverage begins at noon on-site from Lake Placid, N.Y. on the 35th anniversary of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. In addition to NBC and NBCSN, you can also watch the games online.

Hockey Day in America coverage begins with the Washington Capitals visiting the Philadelphia Flyers (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC) in the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs.

Caps’ forward Niklas Backstrom enters today’s action with two goals and five assists during a four-game point streak. His assist on Matt Niskanen’s goal Saturday afternoon has him in sole possession of the NHL scoring lead.

Washington stretched its win streak to four games yesterday and are now just four points back of the New York Islanders for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

At this time last month the playoffs seemed like a long shot for the Philadelphia Flyers; however, following Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators, the Flyers trail the Boston Bruins by just four points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers have won three straight games against the Capitals at home, and five of the past six against them overall.

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks follow up the Caps and Flyers in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup final (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

The Bruins limp into this afternoon’s contest having failed to pick up two points in six straight games. They’ll also be without David Krejci in Chicago. He was injured in the Bruins 5-1 loss in St. Louis on Friday night.

Chicago had its streak of seven straight games with at least a point snapped Friday in a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks are currently 2-1-3 on their season-high eight-game homestand.

Coverage of today’s action switches over to NBCSN for the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Wild won three of the first four meetings between the two clubs. The Stars won the most recent meeting 7-1 on Jan. 3.

Dallas will look to avoid a third straight loss following a disappointing 7-6 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The Stars failed to hang on to a two-goal lead twice during the third period in the loss.

The Wild return home after a 2-1-0 road trip to Western Canada and will look for a third straight win tonight. The game marks the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs this season.

NBC and NBCSN’s Hockey Day In America presentation will include interviews with members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team as well as several features exploring hockey’s influence and impact in America.

Today’s coverage will include a feature on U.S. sled hockey’s Josh Sweeney, a sit down with Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and profile of the U.S. National Team Development program.

Video: Stars’ goalie Lehtonen throws stick in anger after Red Wings OT goal

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Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was furious and he decided to take his frustrations out on his stick after getting beat by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall in overtime Saturday.

Kronwall scored the winner on a backhand 36 seconds into the extra frame. Lehtonen got to his feet and chucked his stick against the end boards, narrowly missing the referee behind the net. The Stars, who restored their two-goal lead midway through the third period, lost by a final score of 7-6.

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg left the game and did not return due to an upper-body injury.

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported that Zetterberg was punched in the head by Jamie Benn, but will travel with the team to Anaheim.


 

Goalie Nods: Hammond gets second straight start for Sens

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Hammond looks for a second straight win

Andrew Hammond will make his second career start tonight when the Ottawa Senators play host to the Florida Panthers. Hammond made 42 saves in a win over the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night in his first career start. It was the 27-year-old’s second NHL appearance. He carries a 2.96 G.A.A. and a .916 save percentage into tonight’s action.

Roberto Luongo gets the nod for the Panthers.

Elsewhere…

Ducks at Oilers: John Gibson vs. Ben Scrivens

Hurricanes at Devils: Anton Khudobin vs. Keith Kinkaid

Blue Jackets at Canadiens: Curtis McElhinney vs. Carey Price

Jets at Maple Leafs: Michael Hutchinson vs. Jonathan Bernier

Penguins at Blues: Thomas Greiss vs. Brian Elliott

Red Wings at Stars: Jimmy Howard vs. Kari Lehtonen

Lightning at Coyotes: Ben Bishop vs. Mike Smith

Kings at Sharks: Jonathan Quick vs. Antti Niemi

Stars’ Hemsky to return vs. Red Wings

Ales Hemsky will return to the Dallas Stars lineup tonight after missing three games with a lower body injury.

Hemsky suffered the injury during the first period of the Stars’ 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Feb.13.

The 31-year-old underwent a procedure on the lower body injury last weekend.

“A good veteran guy that was going well for us,” said Lindy Ruff per The Dallas Morning News. “He was a big piece of our second power play, so I’m looking at Ales playing the way he did when he left the game for us.”

In 52 games this season Hemsky has nine goals and 23 points while averaging 13:38 in ice time.

“Lately it was way more better than in the start,” Hemsky said. “I was able to build some chemistry with a couple guys, played with them for a little while and it helps for sure. I was feeling pretty good about my game, so hopefully I can come back and keep going.”

With Hemsky returning, Brendan Ranford, who made is NHL debut on Thursday night, is expected to be a healthy scratch.

Detroit won the only other meeting between the two clubs 5-2 on Dec. 4.