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Loui Eriksson seems just fine without Brad Richards

Oct 22, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

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Steve Ott, Loui Eriksson AP

Loui Eriksson slipped under the radar for quite some time, but the Dallas Stars winger finally earned an All-Star nod last season. That being said, some might have attributed that breakthrough to the impact made by Brad Richards.

With that in mind, Eriksson’s ability to produce without the star center was a serious question coming into this season. It’s too early to say that he’ll be just as productive, but the initial results are promising.

Eriksson was involved in all three of the Stars’ goals against the Anaheim Ducks last night, with two goals and one assist. That bumps him up to seven points in seven games, which indicates that he has a great chance to match or exceed his career-high of 73 points from last season. (He won’t continue to score a goal for every three shots, but the crafty forward has a knack for finding soft spots in a defense.)

Naturally, Eriksson might succeed in a familiar way: by retreating into the shadow of a new dynamic center in Jamie Benn. The young up and comer also has seven points this season. Benn is known more for his locomotive attacking style and goal-scoring abilities, but if this clip is any indication, he might be able to close some of the playmaking gap left behind by Richards too.

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