Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin goes from healthy scratch to top-line forward for Dallas

Dallas Morning News

In his return to the Stars lineup Wednesday night in Anaheim, Valeri Nichushkin will be given a lot of responsibility, ascending to the top line with Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov after he was a healthy scratch in three of the last four games.

Nichushkin is goalless in 22 games this season in his return from two years in the KHL. Nichushkin has not scored a goal since March 4, 2016, a span of 48 NHL regular-season and playoff games.

"Hopefully, he takes advantage of it," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "The way he pursues pucks, it's going to be good to play with those two because those two because those two can really read well off of puck pressure."

This season has been an unexpected one for Nichushkin. He was brought back to the NHL to provide secondary scoring for the Stars and to help anchor a second line. He was a first round pick in 2013 and had a solid 34-point season as a rookie, but hasn't been able to produce this season.

Montgomery has talked about Nichushkin's defensive game and has tried to play him on the shutdown line with Radek Faksa and Tyler Pitlick. He's also used him on the top line three times this season in an effort to get him going.

#hockey, #professional

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