CEDAR PARK — Since signing Antti Niemi, the message from the Dallas Stars has been “we have two No. 1 goalies.”
Niemi and Kari Lehtonen stood behind those sentiments on Saturday, when the Finnish netminders dueled in a scrimmage on the second day of training camp here in Central Texas.
Lehtonen stopped all 14 shots he faced for Team Green, including a point-blank chance by Travis Morin and a subsequent scramble that featured a flurry of rebounds.
Niemi stopped all 10 shots he faced for Team White, including a penalty shot by Cody Eakin.
At the midway point of the scrimmage — which had three 16-minute periods — John Muse and Philippe Desrosiers entered the game, and goals started coming.
Taylor Peters scored on the first shot Muse faced, while Colton Sceviour countered minutes later on a nifty backhanded shot moment after Desrosiers has stopped him on a penalty shot.
Stephen Johns gave Team White a 2-1 lead after a sharp pass from Jason Spezza, while Cole Ully pushed the lead to 3-1 on a wrist shot by Cole Ully.
Team Green countered when Devin Shore scored on a penalty shot, capping a seven-minute stretch that featured five goals and 19 shots.
Sceviour added his second goal late in the third period, pushing Team White’s lead to 4-2 — which was the final at the end of regulation.
The teams then played five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime to simulate the NHL’s new format.
Patrick Eaves scored for Team Green 16 seconds into overtime after starting with Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski.
Team White started with Jason Spezza, John Klingberg, and Valeri Nichuskin.
New beginnings: Antoine Roussel has had some notable run ins with the Chicago Blackhawks in the past.
Two seasons ago Roussel fought Andrew Shaw, scored on a penalty shot, and then taunted the United Center crowd.
So, how did a couple former Blackhawks in Johnny Oduya and Patrick Sharp react to sharing a locker room with Roussel?
“The first thing Patrick Sharp told me was ‘I’m really happy I don’t have to play against you anymore,”” Roussel said.
Benn, Hemsky out: Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky will not play in the victory green vs. white scrimmage on Sunday.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said both players, which are recovering from off-season hip surgery, aren’t ready for the physical play in a scrimmage.
Lines: In the practice session Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Patrick Sharp skated on a line.
Remember, these are just training camp lines. But, that’s a grouping I would pay close attention to.
Practice group lines:
Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Patrick Sharp
Antoine Roussel—Vernon Fiddler-Ales Hemsky
Mads Eller-Justin Dowlling-Matej Stransky
Brett Pollock-Brandon Magee-Remi Elie
Johnny Oduya-Jason Demers
Jamie Oleksiak-Brennan Evans
Valeri Nichuskin-Jason Spezza-Colton Sceviour
Curtis McKenzie-Radek Faksa-Cole Ully
Brett Pollock-Travis Morin-Gemel Smith
Jordie Benn-John Klingberg
Ludwig Bystrom-Stephen Johns
Patrik Nemeth-Matt Mangene
Brendan Ranford-Cody Eakin-Patrick Eaves
Branden Troock-Jason Dickinson-Mattias Janmark
Derek Hulak-Devin Shore-Taylor Peters
Alex Goligoski-Jyrki Jokipakka
Julius Honka-Mattias Backman
Alex Peters-Jesse Blacker