Video: Stars get after Kulikov in first rematch since Seguin injury


Panthers d-man Dmitry Kulikov served a four-game suspension for clipping — and injuring — Dallas forward Tyler Seguin last month, but that didn’t stop the Stars from exacting further revenge in their first meeting since the incident on Thursday night in Florida.

Dallas’ Curtis McKenzie challenged Kulikov midway through the first period:

(GIF courtesy’s Stephanie Vail)

The Stars were asked about potential retribution prior to the game, per the Dallas Morning-News:

Vern Fiddler said after the last game, “I think it’s a gutless play for their D to do that. (Seguin)’s released the puck, and comes across and takes his knee out. There’s no room in the game, and it’s not a good play. It’s a gutless play on his part, and we’ll have to deal with that at a later time.”

However, the league suspended Kulikov four games for the hit, and Fiddler said on Thursday morning the Stars have to be focused on the game.

“The league took care of it, and I’m glad they took care of it, because it takes it out of our hands,” Fiddler said. “We want to play a fair game, that’s the way we play.”

Ruff said he too expects his team to focus on play.

“I’m not even going to talk about that situation,” Ruff said. “To me, it’s behind us, the league dealt with it. Both teams are desperate to win a hockey game, that has to be our focus. The biggest damage we can now is on the scoresheet.”

Kulikov said he wasn’t sure if anything would happen, but would be prepared to answer the bell if need be.

“I’m not really thinking about it, but whatever happens, happens,” he explained. “We’re not going to back off and let them retaliate and do nothing.

“If something happens, we’ll deal with it.”

Goalie nods: Blues go with Elliott after odd incident in Vancouver


All the latest from the blue paint…

Elliott, not Allen, starts in Philly

Worth keeping an eye on the Blues tonight as they take on the Flyers at Wells Fargo — Brian Elliott will get the nod in goal, just four days after a wild Sunday night in Vancouver.

Jake Allen started the eventual 6-5 shootout loss to the Canucks, but was hooked after allowing four goals on 21 shots. Elliott replaced Allen to start the third, but was then yanked after allowing one goal early in the frame, giving way for Allen to re-enter the game.

Following the contest, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock explained his reason for the move and noted the decision didn’t sit well with Elliott.

From the Post-Dispatch:

“When (Elliott) came out, it was 5-2,” Hitchcock said. “I was thinking, ‘Now all I need to do is get him hurt.’ I put him in because I thought we had great spirit going into the third and had a chance to win the hockey game. That was me. That’s my call.”

Elliott had a brief exchange with Hitchcock, then disappeared.

“He was mad he was coming out,” Hitchcock said. “I told him just relax. He’s fine.”

Elliott was not available for comment after the game.

Not much has been said about the incident since, but it was clear both Elliott and Allen were rattled by the series of events. Afteward, Allen said he was “mentally drained” by the situation.

As for the Flyers, Steve Mason will get the start in goal this evening.


Flames at Bruins: Karri Ramo vs. (no Boston starter yet)

Wild at Caps: Devan Dubnyk vs. Braden Holtby

Leafs at Bolts: Jonathan Bernier vs. Ben Bishop (probable)

Stars at Panthers: Kari Lehtonen (probable) vs. Dan Ellis

Isles at Preds: Jaroslav Halak vs. Pekka Rinne

Canucks at Coyotes: Eddie Lack vs. Mike Smith (probable)

Habs at Kings: (no Montreal starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick (probable)

Stars lose Daley for 2-4 weeks after Martin knee-on-knee


The Dallas Stars will be without veteran defenseman Trevor Daley for the next 2-4 weeks following a nasty knee-on-knee hit from Isles forward Matt Martin, head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed on Thursday.

Daley, 31, was enjoying a career year prior to getting hurt, posting highs in goals (16) and points (33) while sitting second among all Stars in average TOI per game, at 23:07. It’s a devastating blow to his team’s slim playoff chances; Dallas heads into tonight’s action sitting nine points back of Minnesota for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, and would need to leapfrog Colorado, San Jose and Los Angeles in the standings to get there.

Dallas is also currently without the services of leading scorer Tyler Seguin, who Ruff said has resumed working out and could be within a week of returning to play.

The severity of Daley’s injury will likely cause some to wonder why Martin only received a one-game suspension for his hit. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety classified the hit as “reckless,” adding that it caused “significant injury.”

Isles’ Martin suspended one game for ‘reckless’ knee on Daley


New York forward Matt Martin has been suspended one game for kneeing Dallas’ Trevor Daley on Tuesday night, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has announced.

“Martin ensures contact with Daley by leaning out with his leg, a part of the body with which he cannot deliver legally deliver a check,” the DoPS explained. “His knee catches Daly, resulting in a significant injury.

“While we accept Martin’s assertion that the check was not malicious in nature, it was reckless.”

The full video:

Martin will now miss the Islanders’ next game — on Thursday in Nashville — and is eligible to return on Saturday for a tilt in Florida. He’ll also forfeit $5,376.34 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Wings clear Zetterberg (upper body) to face Rangers


Henrik Zetterberg is set to play for the first time in four games tonight when the Red Wings host the Rangers on NBCSN’s Rivalry Night.

Zetterberg, who suffered an upper-body injury after taking a punch from Dallas captain Jamie Benn on Feb. 21, looks as though he’ll return on a line with Justin Abdelkader and newcomer Erik Cole, acquired from the Stars over the weekend.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of effect the Red Wings captain (and leading assist man) has on Cole, who’s enjoying a pretty solid goalscoring campaign. The 36-year-old winger has 18 through 57 games this year, good for a 0.32 goals-per-game average — his highest since netting 35 with Montreal during the 2011-12 campaign.

“I think Cole’s a right winger who plays with pace, can take the puck to the net and is having a good year this year,” coach Mike Babcock said, per CBS Detroit. “Looks to me to have some size and some ability to be heavy on it.”