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At the Rink blog

Stars face Flames without centers Eakin, Horcoff

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:21 PM

By Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Stars face Flames without centers Eakin, Horcoff

DALLAS -- In what already has been an eventful week for the Dallas Stars, coach Lindy Ruff now has injuries to two centers to contend with in advance of a game Friday against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center.

Cody Eakin and Shawn Horcoff are out after being struck by pucks earlier in the week. Eakin's injury occurred during a 3-2 overtime win at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, and Horcoff was injured in practice Thursday.

"Both won't play," Ruff said. "[Eakin] is day-to-day. Hopefully he'll play in Winnipeg [on Sunday]. Shawn might be a little bit longer."

Dallas recalled centers Travis Morin and Chris Mueller from Texas of the American Hockey League. Morin likely will center Dallas' second line, between left wing Erik Cole and right wing Colton Sceviour.

Sceviour, the top goal-scorer in the AHL, scored against St. Louis one day after being recalled.

Mueller, who played against St. Louis but was sent back to the AHL on Wednesday, will center a line with left wing Ray Whitney and right wing Ryan Garbutt.

No matter who the Stars have called up from the AHL this season, the results have been favorable.

"They've all been very effective for us," Ruff said. "They're all going to play bigger roles obviously and they'll be cast in similar to the roles that they've been playing in [in the AHL], so I think that part's important. They've been very good down there and we need them to be good for us."

Ruff is keeping his defensive pairings intact, and goalie Tim Thomas will start a third consecutive game.

Friday will mark Dallas' first home game since center Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench in the first period of a game Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Peverley was carried to a hallway near the Stars bench and was resuscitated after a cardiac event before being taken to a local hospital.

Peverley was released from the hospital on Wednesday night and visited with his teammates at practice Thursday. His season is over and he soon will undergo a procedure to correct his condition of atrial fibrillation, a form of cardiac arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat.

Calgary, which defeated the Anaheim Ducks 7-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, doesn't relish the prospect of playing spoiler against a Stars team that enters play Friday in the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

"I don't put any value in being a spoiler," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "I want us to play well. So I want us to not only match their intensity but to be better than them. We said coming back from the Olympic break we wanted to be in the playoff mindset. Well, it can't get better than [Friday]."

Goalie Joey MacDonald will make his first start for Calgary since Nov. 1 against the Detroit Red Wings.

"We have two games in two nights, so we also felt that Joni [Ortio] had a great run, so to kind of give him like two days off [to] prepare him for Phoenix [on Sunday]," Hartley said. "Dallas and Phoenix, they are two huge games. Those guys are fighting for the last playoff spot. I think that it's a great situation for us. At the same time it allows us to play both goalies."

MacDonald is the only lineup change for the Flames.

Here are the projected lineups:

FLAMES

Mike Cammalleri - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Lance Bouma - Mikael Backlund - Paul Byron

Curtis Glencross - TJ Galiardi - Brian McGrattan

Kevin Westgarth - Corban Knight - Ben Hanowski

TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano

Kris Russell - Chris Butler

Ladislav Smid - Tyler Wotherspoon

Joey MacDonald

Joni Ortio

Scratched: Matt Stajan

Injured: Markus Granlund (upper body), Jiri Hudler (lower body), David Jones (upper body), Karri Ramo (lower body), Dennis Wideman (upper body)

STARS

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin

Erik Cole - Travis Morin - Colton Sceviour

Antoine Roussel - Vernon Fiddler - Alex Chiasson

Ray Whitney - Chris Mueller - Ryan Garbutt

Alex Goligoski - Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn - Brenden Dillon

Kevin Connauton - Sergei Gonchar

Tim Thomas

Cristopher Nilstorp

Scratched: Aaron Rome

Injured: Kari Lehtonen (concussion), Rich Peverley (heart), Cody Eakin (lower body), Shawn Horcoff (upper body)

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff