Goaltender Anton Khudobin played the entire game on Thursday night, allowing five goals on 28 shots. It was Khudobin’s first time playing a full game since he underwent hip surgery in the spring.
Khudobin played half the team’s scrimmage in Cedar Park last week, and the first period of Monday’s preseason opener.
“It was nice that Khudobin got a whole game in,” DeBoer said. “Coming off surgery, hasn’t played in a long, long time. The fact that he got three periods in, I think was a good step for him.”
Khudobin was shaky, though. Of the five Wild goals, three were scored on empty nets: on a rebound during a shorthanded rush, on 5-on-3 following a scramble at the net-front and on a botched change that left Jared Spurgeon with an open one-timer.
Cuts coming soon: Stars coach Pete DeBoer said he would like to get to his NHL group next week to allow the Stars coaching staff to dial in for the start of the season instead of evaluate for roster position.
“We want to get to our NHL group and really take things to another level,” DeBoer said. “I think that’s where we’ve got to get to. You’re still carrying basically two full teams here, you’re still giving long looks to everybody. We want to get to our NHL group, whatever that number is, sooner than later.”
The Stars play Saturday night against the Blues in Independence, Mo. AHL affiliate Texas begins its training camp Monday.
No conditioning skates: During the first week under DeBoer, Stars practices have been without one of the previous mainstays of early practices: conditioning skates. DeBoer and his staff have not skated the Stars at the end of practice, instead keeping practices to about 45 minutes.
“For me, if your group does that work in the summer and they’re ready to play, then I want to use our time on the stuff that’s important, making sure we get off to a good start at the beginning of the season,” DeBoer said. “We haven’t had to waste time on conditioning because our guys are in great shape.”
DeBoer is entering his first season in Dallas, and 16th overall behind an NHL bench.
“The important evaluation for me is the exhibition games,” DeBoer said. “If they’re going in fatigued because I drove them into the ice in practice just because I had a bad day at the office, that’s not doing them any good and that’s not doing my evaluation any good.”
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