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Seguin return for Stars a boost even if they miss playoffs

There were moments during Tyler Seguin‘s grueling comeback from hip surgery when the six-time All-Star center wondered if he would ever play hockey again. “I was honestly questioning if I would ever be back to 100% or be back to even playing hockey,” Seguin said. Six months and a day after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, during a span when he also had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Seguin was back on the ice for the Dallas Stars on Monday night. He played twice as long as planned and scored a goal that forced overtime. “A great reward for the work ethic that he put in. His presence on the ice clearly shows his importance to the team,” coach Rick Bowness said Tuesday, a day after the 5-4 loss at Florida. “A game-tying goal, it gets us a point. It shows how much we’ve missed him the other 51 games.”

 

Seguin‘s return may be too late to help push the defending Western Conference champions back into the playoffs. But it is still a big boost for the 29-year-old center who got hurt during the playoffs last summer inside the NHL’s Canadian bubble. He played through the injury as the Stars made it to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing to Tampa Bay, though he didn’t have a goal in the last 15 games.

The Stars expected him to play 8-10 minutes in his season debut, but he was on the ice for over 17 minutes. Bowness kept asking how he felt, and Seguin said at the moment, with the adrenaline, he wouldn’t pass on playing. His goal in the third period tied the game at 4-4. “I do believe that I can get back to 100 and 110%. I couldn’t get back to that season, but with the progress, know that the light at the end of the tunnel is there,” Seguin said. “There’s no question by next season. I’ll be 110.”

Seguin

Bowness said Seguin seemed to get through his first game fine physically and was still skating strong at the end.

Dallas goes into Wednesday night’s game at Tampa Bay four points behind Nashville for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division with four games remaining. With three games left, the Predators own the tiebreaker with a 5-3 series advantage. All five wins over the Stars came after regulation, including 1-0 in OT on Saturday night in Nashville. Seguin described the lead-up all day to Monday’s game as full of nerves, emotion, and excitement. He said he tried not to have too many expectations and take things shift by shift, much like the day-by-day approach in the rehab from surgery. “I felt kind of more comfortable quicker than I thought,” said Seguin, who before this year hadn’t missed a regular-season game since 2015-16.

“I didn’t try to overthink much. I just told myself before the game to rely on instincts.” And that is precisely how he got his goal. Seguin was open in front of the net when Denis Gurianov’s shot initially flicked off his stick and ricocheted off Spencer Knight’s foot goalie. Seguin knocked the puck over the line with a backhanded swipe, then pumped his fists after falling to the ice before celebrating with his teammates. “He wants to be out there as bad as anyone and help the team win. He left it out there in the bubble; it’s why he had some surgery that had to be done,” Stars goalie Jake Oettinger said. “His impact was felt immediately.”

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Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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