Jack Campbell

Lindback, Rynnas battle for backup job in Dallas


One of the on-going battles at Stars camp is in goal as the Dallas coaching staff looks for a suitable backup behind No. 1 goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

It’s a position the Stars have struggled to fill over the past three seasons using Andrew Raycroft, Richard Bachman, Cristopher Nilstorp, Dan Ellis and Tim Thomas.

This season it’ll likely be either Anders Lindback or Jussi Rynnas behind Lehtonen as the two battle in camp.

“It will be very hard. I mean, three weeks and just six exhibition games, you wish you had more time (to decide),” Stars’ goaltending coach Mike Valley told The Dallas Morning News. “But we got to spend some quality time together at the camp, and I think that gives us a great opportunity to really work off of the same page going forward.”

Lindback, 26, wasn’t retained by Tampa Bay after he struggled to replace the injured Ben Bishop last season. Lindback went 8-12-2 with the Lightning during the regular season and lost three playoff games.

“I’m very optimistic,” said Lindback, who signed a one-year deal with the Stars in July. “I think you push last year behind you and you work on being your best, and I think this team will help me do that. I know what I can do, and I know what I have to do, and it’s all up to me now.”

Rynnas, 27, has appeared in just three career NHL games all with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent last season in Finland posting a 28-5-7 record with a 1.51 GAA for Karpat before suffering a back injury.

With the confidence of last season his back pocket, Rynnas is looking for another chance at the NHL level.

“It’s the best league, and you want to play in the best league,” he said. “I feel healthy, I am excited to be with this team, a team on the rise, and I think they can push me to the next level.”

Rynnas signed a two-year deal with the Stars on July 7.

Both goalies will require waivers to get to the minors. As a result, if it doesn’t work out in Dallas, their efforts at camp could be used as an audition for one of the other 29 clubs.

“They’re both good goaltenders, and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to have them push each other,” Valley said. “They’re confident and hungry, and they want to win this battle, and that should bring out the best in both of them. They’re both excited, and that tells you something about how they’re looking at this.”

The Stars also have 22-year-old prospect Jack Campbell in the mix. The Michigan native was reduced to just 16 games in 2013-14 and is heading into the final year of his entry-level contract with just one NHL appearance under his belt.

Hopefully the Stars can finally find a suitable No. 2 behind Lehtonen, who has battled both groin and back injuries throughout his career. Both Lindback and Rynnas are more experienced making them a suitable fit for a backup role over Campbell, who will likely start in Texas of the American Hockey League once again.

Related: Stars putting their hopes in Lehtonen

PHT Morning Skate: Blake thinks Scott won’t get big suspension ‘people are waiting for’

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Los Angeles Kings assistant GM Rob Blake is predicting that whatever suspension Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott gets, disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan will face criticism for it not being enough. “I don’t see it being the big one (suspension) people are waiting for,” Blake said. He used to work with Shanahan. (Edmonton Journal)

Sean Monahan is earning plenty of praise for his poise. (Flames.nhl.com)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Monday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the link.

Chris Stewart might be available for the St. Louis Blues’ match on Tuesday, but they aren’t likely to have Magnus Paajarvi. Both forwards suffered upper-body injuries Saturday. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Former defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom misses playing in the NHL, but he still thinks it was his time to retire. It’s allowed him to help coach his son’s team in Sweden and he enjoys all the extra time he now has with his family. (Detroit Free Press)

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brandon Sutter is searching for his first goal of the season going into Monday’s game against his old team, the Carolina Hurricanes. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Dallas Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell’s new mask pays tribute to former President John F. Kennedy. (The Score)

Dallas activates Lehtonen, recalls Rome, demotes Campbell

The day after allowing six goals and 47 shots against Anaheim, the Dallas Stars made a flurry of transactions to shore things up defensively.

The first, and arguably most important, was activating Kari Lehtonen from injured reserve. The Finnish netminder suffered a lower-body injury on Oct. 11 and has been shelved ever since, leaving starting goalie duties to backup Dan Ellis and prospect Jack Campbell, the latter getting lit up for the aforementioned six goals against the Ducks on Sunday.

The Stars have gone 1-4-0 since Lehtonen got hurt, so his return is a welcome one.

Dallas also recalled veteran defenseman Aaron Rome from AHL Texas on Monday, sending down Campbell to make room on the active roster.

Rome, 30, hasn’t played at all this year due to a hip injury. He did conduct a brief rehab assignment with Texas, recording three shots on goal and six penalty minutes in three games.

Rome appeared in 27 games for Dallas last year, recording five assists while averaging 15:20 TOI per game. He should provide stability and experience on a blueline that’s been scorched recently — Dallas has surrendered 22 goals in its last five games, including 11 over the past two.

Ducks erase 3-1 deficit vs. Dallas, win seventh in a row


Whether it was a mere coincidence or not, the Anaheim Ducks got a little revenge for Ryan Garbutt’s hit on Dustin Penner by beating the Dallas Stars handily 6-3 on Sunday.

At the time Penner left the ice, it was 3-2 in the middle of the second period; the Stars lead 3-1 late in the first frame. The Perry – Ryan Getzlaf combo dominated Sunday, with Perry scoring two goals and an assist while Getzlaf had a goal and three helpers.

(Perhaps that duo will do OK if Penner need to miss some time …)

Jonas Hiller was pulled following the first period after allowing three goals on 12 shots, giving way to a rare duo of debuts.  Frederik Anderson stopped all 24 shots while Jack Campbell made 40 out of 46 saves in their first NHL regular season games.

The Ducks have now won seven games in a row after losing their season-opener. Dallas, meanwhile, is going through growing pains (and/or missing Kari Lehtonen?), as the Stars have lost four of their last five and that win only came via a shootout.

Goalie nods: Harding starts, Backstrom backs up; Ellis gets third straight


News from around the crease…

Harding back in goal

Josh Harding will be back in goal for Minnesota tonight when the Wild take on the Lightning in Tampa Bay.

Filling in for the injured Niklas Backstrom — who, it should be mentioned, will return to the lineup tonight in a backup capacity — Harding has been a busy man lately, appearing in five straight contests.

Tuesday’s game against Toronto was supposed to be his night off as the Wild gave Darcy Kuemper the start, but Kuemper was yanked after allowing three goals on seven shots, forcing Harding into relief duty.

Stars keep rolling with Ellis

Dallas is still hesitant to give prospect Jack Campbell his first taste of NHL action, as the club announced it’ll start Dan Ellis for the third straight game on Thursday against San Jose.

Ellis, filling in for the injured Kari Lehtonen, has had a rough go over the last two games, He was shelled for five goals in a loss to Minnesota, then allowed all three goals in a 3-2 loss to Colorado on Tuesday — a game in which Dallas out-shot the Avs 41-26.

Campbell, the 11th overall selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been up with the club for the past few games but has yet to make his NHL debut.


— As Brough wrote earlier, Jonas Gustavsson gets his third straight start for Detroit tonight while Devan Dubnyk, he of the .829 save percentage, will be in goal for Edmonton.

— It’s Tuukka vs. Timmy in Florida this evening.

Steve Mason will get the nod for Philly against Pittsburgh.

Ben Bishop will start for the Bolts against Minny.