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Posted On Friday, 01.20.2012 / 1:25 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stars look to rebound from tough week vs. Lightning

DALLAS -- It has been a fairly tough week for the Dallas Stars. On Monday night, Dallas fell 1-0 to St. Louis and the next night, saw itsrecord fall to 0-6-1 in the second game of a back-to-back with a shootout loss at home to Detroit.

Add in a tough 2-1 loss to Colorado last Saturday and Dallas (24-19-2, 50 points) is currently riding a three-game winless streak. As the Stars near the All-Star break, they know they need to start getting full points and tonight's game with Tampa Bay (18-23-4, 40 points) represents an excellent chance to do so.

The Lightning head into this one fresh off a huge 5-3 win over reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston on Tuesday, but they haven't won on the road since Dec. 17, 2011 at Columbus.

Still, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan knows that any time you face a club with such talented offensive players like Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos, it will be a sizeable challenge.

"We have guys that have to step up. We have to do it collectively. We have to be smart defensively collectively, and we have to win some areas of the ice to make sure that we try to minimize those guys' impact," Gulutzan said. "They're great players. Outside of having them not playing tonight, they're going to be in it, so we have to do our part collectively."

Dallas will again be without its top-two centermen in Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro. Benn has missed two straight games after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Sunday, while Ribeiro has missed five straight with a knee issue.

No matter who they put on the ice, winger Eric Nystrom knows the goal is always the same -- come away from tonight's game with the full two points and head to Minnesota on a winning note in advance of tomorrow night's meeting with the Wild.

"It's huge, obviously," Nystrom said. "Everybody sees the standings and how tight it is. You've got to stick with the herd and have got to find ways to win games. We've been close. We've been playing well, but still, giving up those points is tough to swallow."

Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game:

LIGHTNING
Steve Downie - Steven Stamkos - Teddy Purcell
Tom Pyatt - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Ryan Malone - Dominic Moore - Nate Thompson
Pierre-Cedric Labrie - Trevor Smith - Brett Connolly

Eric Brewer - Pavel Kubina
Brett Clark - Matt Gilroy
Bruno Gervais - Brendan Mikkelson

Mathieu Garon
Dwayne Roloson

Scratches: none

Injuries: Marc-Andre Bergeron (upper body), Adam Hall (upper body), Victor Hedman (concussion), Mattias Ohlund (knee), Ryan Shannon (knee), Dana Tyrell (lower body), JT Wyman (upper body)

Notes: Tampa Bay comes off a huge 5-3 win over defending Stanley Cup champion Boston on Tuesday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. That victory ended a seven-game winless streak. Now the Bolts look for their first back-to-back wins of the season and also seek to put a hasty end to a six-game winless streak away from home. The last time they won on the road was on Dec. 17, 2011 at Columbus, when they bested the Blue Jackets 3-2.

STARS

Brenden Morrow - Tom Wandell - Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Michael Ryder
Steve Ott - Adam Burish - Radek Dvorak
Toby Petersen - Jake Dowell - Tomas Vincour

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Mark Fistric - Alex Goligoski
 
Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Philip Larsen, Adam Pardy

Injuries: Jamie Benn (appendectomy), Mike Ribeiro (knee)

Notes: Dallas will look to end a three-game winless streak, a run of tough results that has seen the Stars drop a pair of one-goal games and, most recently, fall in a shootout to Detroit. The Stars have not beaten the Lightning in regulation in Dallas since Nov. 20, 2000, when they handed the Bolts a 6-2 defeat at Reunion Arena. Gulutzan's club has a 3-3-1 mark on the first day of back-to-backs this season and will play at Minnesota on Saturday. Larsen has been activated from injured reserve but won't make his return until Saturday against the Wild.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.17.2012 / 3:07 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Vincour in for injury-riddled Stars

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Stars will continue to be without their top two centers, Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro, as they host the Detroit Red Wings tonight at American Airlines Center. But they will get back another injured player, as rookie forward Tomas Vincour, who has missed the last 14 games with a knee injury, will see his first action since Dec. 15, 2011.

"It feels good," Vincour said of his knee. "I'm ready to go tonight and focus on helping us get two points tonight. Whatever coach (Glen Gulutzan)wants me to do, I'm going to do the best for the team so we can start winning games again."

In 14 games this season, Vincour has a goal and 2 assists. He was activated from injured reserve Tuesday; as a result, Dallas sent fellow forward Francis Wathier, who had been called up Sunday and played in Monday's loss at St. Louis, back to the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

Vincour will see minutes on the fourth line, most likely alongside Toby Petersen and Jake Dowell. He figures to log six or seven minutes in his return, according to Gulutzan.

Dallas heads into tonight's contest on a two-game losing streak and the Stars, who lost 1-0 at St. Louis on Monday, are 0-6-0 in the second half of back-to-backs this season. They will face a Red Wings club that is on a three-game win streak and won a franchise-record 15th straight game at Joe Louis Arena on Monday, a 5-0 blanking of Buffalo.

"It's going to be a tough one," Gulutzan said. "We worked real hard last night and didn't come up with a win. Tonight will be a tough game against a real good opponent. We're playing top-five teams in the League right now. We're going to have to work."

Stars starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen was stellar against the Blues on Monday, stopping 31 of 32 shots while taking a tough loss. However, Gulutzan will go with rookie Richard Bachman tonight against the Wings.

If Dallas is to break its two-game skid, Gulutzan knows they only have to adhere to a simple formula.

"We have to work," he said. "There's no secret. If we come in with the attitude that it's not going to be a tough game, we'll be in trouble. We've got to dig in, work, win the blue lines and play good defense."

So far this season, Dallas is 0-2-0 against Detroit, having lost to the Red Wings at home and on the road. These teams met just two weeks ago in Dallas, and it was Detroit who came away with a 5-4 win thanks to three-point nights from Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg.

These teams will meet once more in the regular season, on Feb. 14 in Detroit.

Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game:
       
RED WINGS
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Danny Cleary
Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jakub Kindl - Jonathan Ericsson

Ty Conklin will start in goal, with Jimmy Howard serving as the backup.

Forward Jan Mursak will be a healthy scratch, joining injured Wings Mike Commodore (foot) and Patrick Eaves (jaw) on the sideline

STARS
Brenden Morrow - Tom Wandell - Loui Eriksson
Steve Ott - Adam Burish - Radek Dvorak
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Michael Ryder
Toby Petersen - Jake Dowell - Tomas Vincour

Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Mark Fistric - Alex Goligoski

Defenseman Adam Pardy will be a healthy scratch; also sitting out are injured forwards Jamie Benn (appendectomy) and Mike Ribeiro (knee), as well as defenseman Philip Larsen (head).
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Posted On Tuesday, 01.17.2012 / 1:42 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Ducks, Stars

DALLAS -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

DUCKS
Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Niklas Hagman - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Jason Blake - Nick Bonino - Andrew Cogliano
Rod Pelley - Mark Bell - George Parros

Francois Beauchemin - Cam Fowler
Luca Sbisa - Lubomir Visnovsky
Toni Lydman - Sheldon Brookbank

Jonas Hiller
Jeff Deslauriers

Scratches: Nate Guenin.
Injuries: LW Matt Beleskey (hand), G Dan Ellis (groin), RW Devante Smith-Pelly (foot).

Notes: Anaheim is an impressive 8-1-1 in its last 10 games and heads into Tuesday's final game before the All-Star break fresh off a 3-2 win over Colorado on Sunday. Hiller had 43 saves in that win over the Avs, getting the victory in his fifth straight start. Getzlaf had a goal and an assist in that victory, which gives him 9 points in his last nine games. Ryan had a pair of tallies vs. Colorado, giving him 4 goals in his last five and 9 in his last 13.

STARS

Michael Ryder - Mike Ribeiro - Loui Eriksson
Steve Ott - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Matt Fraser - Jake Dowell - Tomas Vincour

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Philip Larsen - Alex Goligoski

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Mark Fistric, Adam Pardy, Toby Petersen.
Injuries: Brenden Morrow (neck), Mike Ribeiro (knee).

Notes:  The Stars head into their final contest before the break on a five-game winless streak. Most recently, Dallas fell 5-2 at Minnesota on Saturday night. Ribeiro, who has missed the last seven games with a knee injury, returns to the ice for the first time since Jan. 7 against Edmonton, when he bumped knees with the Oilers' Theo Peckham. Fraser will be making his NHL debut against the Ducks. He had 21 goals and 35 points in 40 games for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. These clubs met on Jan. 10 at the Honda Center with Anaheim prevailing, 5-2.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 1:26 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Benn brothers set to play first NHL game together

DALLAS -- Jamie Benn is currently in his third NHL season, so facing the Detroit Red Wings tonight will be nothing new for the 22-year-old Dallas winger. But tonight's game will mark the NHL debut of older brother Jordie, a 24-year-old defenseman who was recalled from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

In 31 games in the AHL, Jordie Benn had 7 goals and 15 points. He will be half of the Stars' third defensive pairing, skating alongside Mark Fistric.

Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan knows the elder Benn well after having coached him in the AHL last season.

"We're in the business of winning hockey games, so we want the best player from down there and he was that guy. He's going to get a well-deserved opportunity," Gulutzan said.

Benn has only been up with the Stars for a few days, but he's already earning rave reviews for his solid play.

"We were partners in one of the exhibition games. I thought that we were a pretty solid pair," Fistric said. "He keeps it simple but he has that skill part of his game as well. I think that's what makes him valuable. Obviously, he's progressed nicely and that's why he’s here."

Both Benn parents will be in attendance for tonight's contest, one of several trips they usually make from their native British Columbia to see Jamie play. But it's clear tonight’s game will be extra special for all parties involved.

"I think it's going to be really special. It's something I was definitely hoping would happen in the summer," Jamie Benn said. "When he signed his contract, I knew there might be a chance. Tonight's going to be special for me, him and our family."

Jamie added: "They [our parents] wouldn't miss this for the world. They just flew in last night. When my brother told my mom and dad, they got pretty emotional. It's pretty special -- having two kids make the NHL, let alone play on the same team and be in the same game together."

About the only member of their immediate family who won't make the trip is the Benns' sister, who will instead be catching this one on TV.

Even though he is 24 and nearly a full two years older than Jamie, the elder Benn admits there will be some nerves.

"For sure, it's a dream come true. I'll try not to think about it and just go play hockey," Jordie Benn.

But the man who will be skating alongside the Stars rookie blueliner feels he has the mental makeup to handle tonight's debut with few if any hiccups.

“I think he's a pretty mature guy," Fistric said. "Your first shift is the most nerve-racking one and after that, you settle down and it's another hockey game. It's an exciting time, playing your first ever NHL game. I know I still remember mine, and I don't think there’s a guy that doesn't remember his. It's a great time and it's awesome for the family, especially when you have two brothers playing in the NHL. I wish that could have happened for me. It's an exciting time for him and I think he's going to be great."

The Benns will be the sixth set of brothers to skate for the Stars franchise. The last pair to do so was Derian and Kevin Hatcher in 1996.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 12:56 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stars, Wings look to ride momentum into 2012

DALLAS -- Two longtime rivals meet on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center looking to ride momentum from  impressive victories on New Year's Eve. Detroit blanked the resurgent St. Louis Blues, 3-0, to end 2011 on a very high note while Dallas, which had lost 4-1 to Columbus on Thursday, the Blue Jackets' first regulation road win of the season, rebounded nicely to hand defending Stanley Cup champion Boston a 4-2 defeat in front of a packed house in Big D.

Here are tonight's projected lineups:
       
RED WINGS
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Dan Cleary - Justin Abdelkader - Drew Miller
Gustav Nyquist - Cory Emmerton - Joakim Andersson

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Commodore

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

Scratches: Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Chris Conner (hand), Patrick Eaves (jaw), Darren Helm (groin), Tomas Holmstrom (groin)

Notes: White is currently third in the NHL in plus/minus, sporting a rating of plus-24. Detroit has an impressive goal differential of plus-39. The 84 goals allowed by the Red Wings is third-fewest in the league, behind only Boston (68 goals) and the New York Rangers (79 goals). Howard currently leads all NHL goaltenders with 23 wins.

STARS
Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Toby Petersen - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski - Adam Pardy
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Mark Fistric - Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Richard Bachman

Scratches: Brenden Dillon, Jake Dowell

Injuries: Philip Larsen (head), Stephane Robidas (foot), Sheldon Souray (ankle), Tomas Vincour (MCL)

Notes: Defenseman Jordie Benn, older brother of Stars forward Jamie Benn, figures to make his NHL debut against the Red Wings. These clubs have already met once this season in Detroit and it was the Wings who prevailed 5-2 in the final contest of a four-game road swing. Tonight's game is the final contest in a three-game homestand. Dallas is 1-1-0 in their first two at home.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 2:29 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stars' Ryder ready to face Bruins

DALLAS -- The last time the Dallas Stars faced the Boston Bruins, it was on Feb. 3 in Boston and the Bruins came away with a 6-3 win. That defeat was a costly one for Dallas as they lost three players to injuries and the Stars went 1-6-1 in the eight games after the setback.

Dallas winger Adam Burish was one of the players who left that game injured, but he won’t go so far as to say there is any lingering bad blood from he and his teammates directed toward the reigning Stanley Cup champion Bruins.

“I guess the thing I remember most [about that game] is we got spanked. It just wasn’t even a close hockey game. We never really had a chance,” Burish said. “I think we got within two goals one time but they scored three pretty quick.”

Bruins center Gregory Campbell agrees there isn’t any bad blood left over from last season’s match-up or from any of the clubs’ previous meetings.

“Honestly, I don’t think too many guys have put too much thought into what happened last year. Two of the guys that were involved in that are not even on the team anymore,” Campbell said. “For us and for them, I think the most important thing is winning the game.”

Stars captain Brenden Morrow adopted a different approach when asked what he remembered from his club’s last meeting with Boston, issuing a simple, two-word, deadpan response of “We lost.”

Dallas has dropped two straight while the Bruins head into the contest tonight on a seven-game winning streak, a run where they have outscored their opponents 32-8 and Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan knows what to expect from the reigning champs in tonight’s contest.

“They’re a solid team. You look at their goals against. You look at their penalty kill. You look at their 5-on-5 game. You look at their team toughness and team speed. They’ve got everything,” Gulutzan said. “That’s why they won last year. I think it’s a really good measure for us as a team that’s trying to develop an identity.

For Stars winger Michael Ryder, who was with the Bruins for the last three seasons before coming to Dallas last summer as a free agent, facing his former club figures to be an interesting experience for the 31-year-old forward. Ryder signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Stars in July after winning the Cup with the Bruins.

“It’s going to be a little different, playing against these guys but it’s just another hockey game,” Ryder said. “It’s going to be odd playing against them but I’m here now and we’re trying to get the win.”

But whether there is bad blood between these teams or not, the contest tonight will be played in front of a packed American Airlines Center, a big plus for the Dallas players.

“I think the energy that will come from the game tonight will come from playing against the Stanley Cup champs. They embarrassed us last year. They beat the hell out of us last year,” Burish said. “We’ve got a full building tonight. It’s New Year’s Eve. That’s more of where the excitement’s going to come from rather than let’s get revenge. This is the Cup champs, sold-out building New Year’s Eve. Let’s have a good one.”

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Posted On Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 1:17 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins-Stars probable lineups

The defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins will put their seven-game winning streak on the line against the Dallas Stars, who have dropped two straight. Boston last lost 2-0 at Florida on Dec. 8. Since then, not only have the Bruins won seven in a row, but they have allowed a total of eight goals during those seven contests while scoring 32. Dallas is an impressive 8-4-2 in New Year’s Eve contests since moving from Minnesota in 1993.
   
BRUINS

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuuka Rask

Notes: Tonight marks the sixth time the Bruins and Stars have met on New Year’s Eve. Dallas has a 3-2-0 mark against Boston in those contests. C Rich Peverley looks set to return after missing the past two games with an undisclosed injury and figures to return to his previous role of centering the third line. The Bruins, who are 6-2-1 against the Western Conference this season, head into this one after a 2-1 overtime win at Phoenix, their seventh straight victory. On the road, Boston is an impressive 11-3-0. The Bruins also lead the League with a plus-57 goal differential.

STARS

Loui Eriksson-Jamie Benn-Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom-Vernon Fiddler-Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell-Tom Wandell-Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski-Philip Larsen
Nicklas Grossman-Trevor Daley
Mark Fistric-Adam Pardy

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Notes:  Dallas has dropped two straight, the most recent a 4-1 loss to Columbus on Thursday night, the Blue Jackets’ first road win in regulation this season. G Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 28 shots he faced in the loss to Columbus, his first action since Nov. 26 after missing the previous 12 games with a groin injury. These teams last met in Boston on Feb. 3, 2011 and it was the Bruins who prevailed, 6-3, a game where several Stars were injured. This will be RW Michael Ryder’s first game against Boston after spending three seasons there and being part of last year’s Cup-winning squad.
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 1:14 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Stars focus on reviving power play

DALLAS -- It's no big secret that the Dallas Stars' power play has been struggling of late. Over their last 10 games, that unit is 5-for-37 (13.5 percent). So it wasn't surprising to hear Stars first-year coach Glen Gulutzan say the primary focus of Wednesday's practice would be on improving the performance of that group.

Tonight Dallas (20-14-1, 41 points) hosts Columbus (9-22-5, 23 points), a team whose penalty kill currently ranks 29th in the NHL, killing off 74.6 percent of opposing power plays, and the Stars hope to get their power play going in fairly short order.

"We've got to see it on the ice. It'll be a good test because Columbus' PK is very, very aggressive. We talked about our work ethic 5-versus-4 that has to improve," Gulutzan said. "It's a good game for us to ramp up our work ethic."

Besides trying to ramp up their PP, the other big story surrounding the home side is the return of Kari Lehtonen to the nets tonight after a 12-game absence. The Finnish netminder suffered a groin injury in a Nov. 26 loss at Phoenix and hasn't played since.

Prior to his injury, Lehtonen was 13-4-1 with a 2.34 goals-against-average in 19 games, and getting their top goaltender back figures to be a huge lift for Dallas.

"It's big. It's a huge lift for us," Gulutzan said. "He's completely healthy now. To have him back is a big boost for our team."

While Dallas will get a huge lift from Lehtonen's return, the club is still dealing with several injuries, most notably on the blue line. Veterans Stephane Robidas (foot) and Sheldon Souray (ankle) figure to miss between 10 to 14 days as they recover from their respective ailments, leaving the Stars not only thin in the back but also on the power play, where both veterans log their share of minutes.

Columbus enters tonight's game riding a six-game winless streak after losing 2-1 to Calgary in a shootout on Tuesday night. The Blue Jackets are also just 3-12-2 on the road this season and have lost their last three games away from home.

The Dallas players are well aware of their next opponent's recent struggles, but also realize those woes mean nothing once the puck is dropped tonight at American Airlines Center.

"Obviously they have struggled the early part of the year. It's a team you can't take lightly," Stars third-line center Vernon Fiddler said. "They have talent over there that can bite you if you don't take care of things."

These teams have already faced each other twice this season, with Dallas taking both meetings. The Stars defeated the Jackets 4-2 at home on Oct. 15 and delivered a 3-2 win at Columbus just three days later.

Getting those four points was great for his team, but Gulutzan knows those results have little to no bearing on how things could play out tonight.

"We know what we're up against. They've been leading in lots of games late," he said. "They're physical. They're moving. They're healthy. Every game is its own in this League. Just because we won back in October has no merit now. We know we're in for a tough contest."
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Posted On Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 12:40 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lines for Blue Jackets, Stars

Here are the projected lineups for tonight's Columbus Blue Jackets/Dallas Stars game at American Airlines Center. Both teams head into this game off losses. Columbus fell 2-1 to Calgary in a shootout on Tuesday on home ice while Dallas lost 5-3 at St. Louis on Monday night. The Jackets are just 3-12-2 on the road while the Stars are 11-5-1 on home ice.

BLUE JACKETS

Rick Nash - Jeff Carter - Ryan Johansen
Vinny Prospal - Antoine Vermette - Mark Letestu
RJ Umberger - Samuel Pahlsson - Derek Dorsett
Derick Brassard - Derek MacKenzie - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin
John Moore - James Wisniewski
Marc Methot - Grant Clitsome

Steve Mason
Curtis Sanford

Scratches: Dane Byers, Aaron Johnson

Injuries: Kristian Huselius (lower body), Radek Martinek (concussion).

Notes: The Blue Jackets are 0-5-1 in their last six games. Columbus' last win came on Dec. 13, a 2-1 decision over defending Western Conference champion Vancouver. Tuesday's loss marked the eighth time this season that the Jackets have failed to hold a lead after two periods.

STARS

Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Toby Petersen - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Alex Goligoski - Philip Larsen
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Mark Fistric - Adam Pardy

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

Scratch: Jake Dowell.

Injuries: Stephane Robidas (foot), Sheldon Souray (ankle), Tomas Vincour (MCL).

Notes: Lehtonen, who has missed the last 12 games with a groin injury, makes his first start since Nov. 26 at Phoenix, when he suffered that injury. He is 13-4-1 with a 2.34 goals-against-average in 19 starts this year. Ryder has a six-game point streak (5-3-8) while Ribeiro has at least a point in six of the last seven contests. Dallas is 2-0-0 against Columbus this season, beating them 4-2 at home on Oct. 15 and prevailing 3-2 in the Ohio capital three days later on Oct. 18.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.21.2011 / 1:42 PM

By Steve Hunt -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flyers, Stars

Here are how the lineups could look tonight when the Dallas Stars host the Philadelphia Flyers at American Airlines Center:

FLYERS
Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
James Van Riemsdyk - Danny Briere - Jakub Voracek
Tom Sestito - Maxime Talbot - Wayne Simmonds
Harry Zolnierczyk - Matt Read - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Andrej Meszaros - Matt Carle
Andreas Lilja - Marc-Andre Bourdon

Sergei Bobrovsky
Ilya Bryzgalov

Scratches: Erik Gustafsson, Ben Holmstrom, Jody Shelley, Matt Walker.

Injuries: Blair Betts (knee), Sean Couturier (head), Chris Pronger (concussion).

Notes: Lilja is poised to return after a 10-game absence due to a high ankle sprain. He last played on Nov. 25 against Montreal. Bobrovsky will start in goal tonight, his 13th game of the season. He last appeared between the pipes for the Flyers in mop-up duty against Boston on Saturday. Bobrovsky's last start was Dec. 15 at Montreal, a game Philadelphia won 4-3. Bobrovsky is 6-2-1 this season with a goals-against-average of 2.72.

STARS
Loui Eriksson - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Mike Ribeiro - Steve Ott
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Alex Goligoski - Mark Fistric

Richard Bachman
Andrew Raycroft

Scratches: Adam Pardy, Toby Petersen.

Injuries: Philip Larsen (quad contusion), Kari Lehtonen (groin), Tomas Vincour (MCL).

Notes: Robidas will be a game-time decision after taking a puck to the skate during morning skate. If Robidas is unable to go, Pardy will step into the defensive rotation, likely alongside Souray, Robidas' normal D partner. Bachman (4-1-0, 2.25) will make his sixth straight start between the pipes for Dallas. Tonight's contest is the second of a three-game homestand for Dallas.
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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins