Scratched: Ben Lovejoy.
Scratched: Ben Lovejoy.
DALLAS -- After missing 16 games with a broken bone in his foot, Ray Whitney will return to the ice for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center. It will be Whitney's first game since Feb. 1 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
"It [the process] has been long. It's the first time I've had a broken bone, so it's been longer than expected, but I've had enough of riding the bike," Whitney said. "I'm excited to get back on the ice and see if we can't get a good push here in the last half."
Notes: The St. Louis Blues are 6-2-1 on the road so far this season. Among their six road wins is a 4-3 victory at Dallas on Jan. 26. David Perron found the back of the Stars' net twice in that win. Sunday's game marks the start of a five-game road trip for St. Louis. In Friday's 4-2 comeback win against the Edmonton Oilers, coach Ken Hitchcock plugged rookie Jaden Schwartz into his top line alongside T.J. Oshie and David Backes and it paid dividends as Schwartz had a goal and an assist in the victory. Brian Elliott gets the nod in goal against the Stars on Sunday in what will be his first start since Feb. 11 against the Los Angeles Kings. Elliott is winless in his previous five games (0-4-1).
Edmonton will have first-line wing Taylor Hall for the first time after he served a two-game suspension for kneeing Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild, and no one could be happier than Oilers coach Ralph Krueger.
"Well, he adds an amazing amount of pressure on the opposition's defense and on their defensive structure," Krueger said of Hall. "To have [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins], [Jordan Eberle] and [Hall] back together gives us a real weapon here. We're very pleased to have Taylor's speed and offensive pressure back."
DALLAS -- When the San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars hit the ice Saturday night at American Airlines Center, the Pacific Division foes will square off with power-play units that are a combined 0-for-their-past-30.
Dallas is 0-for-12 with the man advantage over its past three games and heads into Saturday on a two-game losing streak. For Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, the way to remedy his club's is pretty simple.
"We need a shooter's mindset," Gulutzan said. "Shots cause confusion, and if you look at San Jose, they like to put a lot of shots on net and they have success in their power play. We need a lot of that mentality. We've got sometimes the pass-first mentality. We're going to put more pucks towards the net. We're going to work a lot harder."
The Sharks also have had their share of issues on the power play. San Jose is 0-for-18 over its past four games. In Feburary, San Jose is 2-for-39 with the extra attacker, a definite cause of concern for Sharks coach Todd McLellan, whose club has lost seven of its past eight.
DALLAS -- For a variety of reasons, the lineup Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault puts on the ice for Thursday night’s Western Conference game against the Dallas Stars will be different from previous games.
One reason for the shakeup is that the Canucks (8-3-4) will be without second-line wing Jannik Hansen. He received a one-game suspension from the League office for a blow to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa during a 4-3 overtime loss Tuesday at United Center.
To compensate for the loss of Hansen, Vigneault will move wing Zack Kassian, who earlier this year played on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, up to the second line alongside recently returned Ryan Kesler and wing Chris Higgins.
DALLAS -- After last Friday's 4-3 comeback win at the Vancouver Canucks, the Dallas Stars (8-7-1, 17 points) were riding high. Glen Gulutzan's club had taken two of three in a swing through Western Canada, and Dallas was now looking at the start of a three-game homestand Sunday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.
Dallas found another gear in that game; after trailing 1-0 at the first intermission it scored three unanswered. The Stars looked in control of the game with a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. However, Calgary countered with three unanswered of their own and left the Lone Star State with two points thanks to a 4-3 win.
Gulutzan gave his players Monday off, but in practice the past two days, he and his staff have focused on the Stars' attention to detail and on cleaning up the various issues that led to that defeat.
"Our guys practiced hard these last two days. I can tell you from a year-and-a-half of being here, the practices we've had in the last two weeks have been high-tempo, hard practices," Gulutzan said. "The guys have went and competed hard, but we do need to clean up those details. We had a chance in this little break to address some of those things, and now we have to put what we've learned and saw, tonight we have to do it in games."
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We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.