Prior to Game 6 in Minnesota, Stars coach Lindy Ruff decided to insert veteran forward Travis Moen into the lineup, where he replaced Val Nichushkin.
Ruff explained afterward that he wanted Moen’s veteran presence on the ice for the potential closeout game. Moen hadn’t played in the series before Sunday, but came in with 77 games worth of playoff experience and a 2007 Stanley Cup victory with the Ducks under his belt.
“He's a veteran guy who has played well for us,” Ruff said of Moen, who had two shots on goal and a blocked shot in the 5-4 win, per the Dallas Morning News. “He's really heavy on the puck and really reliable. It was just put another veteran guy in the room who has been there and done that. For me, we had a chance to close out a series and he has played well, and I just thought having another guy like that in the room to help these guys was important tonight.”
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Meanwhile, Ruff chalked some of Nichushkin’s struggles to plain bad luck.
“Val is working extremely hard. He hasn't had a lot of things go good for him, he hasn't had a lot of breaks. He hasn't had an alley oop, he hasn't had a redirection, he hasn't had a puck go in off of him,” Ruff said. “But every shift I put him on the ice, that kid works as hard as he can. This a big change for him, too. It's no different than Janmark. I've got a few guys who may be in and out. For Val, it's not about work. Things haven't come his way, but I really believe they will.”