Stars facing ‘first true test of adversity’

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The Dallas Stars played “stupid hockey” Tuesday in New York. That’s how captain Jamie Benn described the 6-2 loss to the Rangers, one that saw Benn and Tyler Seguin stapled to the bench for much of the third period.

Tuesday was also the third time in the Stars’ last five games that they’ve surrendered six goals. They lost 6-5 to the Islanders on Sunday. They dropped a 6-3 decision to Columbus last Tuesday.

Feeling the need to make some changes, Stars coach Lindy Ruff split up Benn and Seguin in yesterday’s practice. Benn was with Jason Spezza and Valeri Nichushkin; Seguin was centering Mattias Janmark and Patrick Sharp.

We’ll see if those changes make any difference tonight at home versus Winnipeg.

While the Stars remain comfortably in a playoff spot, the last few weeks have seen them experience their first bit of adversity this season. Offensively, they remain tops in the NHL. Defensively, however, they’ve dropped all the way to 17th, with a 2.64 goals-against average.

“Having the start that we did is definitely beneficial to not having to stare at the standings every single day, but we know we don’t have that big of a gap between any of the teams, really. It’s such a close division,” Seguin told ESPN.com earlier this week.

“But we have a lot more confident and mature group in here than we have had in the past when it comes to hockey and when it comes to not being on too much of an emotional roller coaster and staying patient in games and finding ways to win games. This is our first true test of adversity this year.”

Related: Are the Stars contenders or pretenders?