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Stars short Jagr, possibly another top forward

Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 2:00 PM / News

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Stars short Jagr, possibly another top forward
The Dallas Stars will be without Jaromir Jagr and potentially another unnamed top-six forward when they face the St. Louis Blues.

DALLAS -- When the Dallas Stars hit the ice at American Airlines Center on Saturday morning, Jaromir Jagr was not with his teammates. Instead, the Stars wing was in a tunnel near the rink on an exercise bike, and he will not play in the game against the St. Louis Blues.

Jagr did not practice Friday at the team facility in Frisco, Texas, after leaving a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night in the third period because of back stiffness.

"Yeah, he's a little bit better today. He's saying to us he's probable for Monday. So that's where we'll take it," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said about Jagr's status going forward. "It's just a lower-back injury that probably needs to be taken care of with a couple days' rest."

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Rookie Reilly Smith, who has seven games of NHL experience and has been a fixture on Dallas' fourth line so far this season, figures to fill in alongside Loui Eriksson and Derek Roy in the Stars' top grouping with Jagr unavailable.

"[I'm going to] kind of do the same thing: Play my game, focus on getting pucks deep, not turning the puck over," Smith said.

Gulutzan will have a rookie between the pipes Saturday night, Christopher Nilstorp. It will be the second NHL start for the 28-year-old from Sweden whom Dallas signed in the offseason. Nilstorp started in a 1-0 loss Sunday at the Minnesota Wild, denying 31 of the 32 shots he faced.

"Yeah, Kari Lehtonen had a little tweak. We're not going to mess with it," Gulutzan said. "So we're going to start Nilstorp. We don't want to lose a goaltender like some other teams have lost right away. Nilstorp gets the start and he's earned it."

Gulutzan also stated there is another player, most likely in the top six, who may or may not be able to go against St. Louis. He didn't name that player, but Derek Roy and Ray Whitney missed practice on Friday.

"Yeah, we have another guy that we won't say but is 50-50 to go," Gulutzan said. "Yeah, we'll have to wait and see. It is what it is. We've got injuries. We've got a farm team so we use them."

Dallas recalled center Colton Sceviour from Texas of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Sceviour had been sent Thursday to the AHL. Fellow center Tomas Vincour had already been recalled Thursday. Both Sceviour and Vincour figure to see the ice against the Blues.

"We really think yeah, he [Sceviour] will be in the lineup tonight. That's why we brought him up. He'll either play right wing or center," Gulutzan said. "Yeah [Vincour will be in too]."

"It's just a lower-back injury that probably needs to be taken care of with a couple days rest."
-- Stars coach Glen Gulutzan on the status of Jaromir Jagr

If it is Roy who is out of the lineup, then Dallas likely will go with Cody Eakin to center the top line alongside Eriksson and Smith. The second line would then likely consist of Whitney, Tom Wandell and Michael Ryder. Dallas' third line of Eric Nystrom, Vernon Fiddler and captain Brenden Morrow would remain the same, while the fourth line would be Ryan Garbutt, Sceviour at center and Vincour on the right.

The game Saturday will mark the Dallas debut of defenseman Aaron Rome, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason after spending the past few seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. Rome, who missed the Stars' first four games with a groin injury, will be paired with Trevor Daley in Dallas' second defensive pairing.

"He's 100 percent so it's a good game to get him in there. We need a big body," Gulutzan said of Rome."

Daley was occasionally paired with Rome during training camp and is looking forward to doing so on Saturday against the Blues.

"He's a big, stay-at-home guy. He brings some physicality," Daley said. "He can move the puck too. He can move out there. I got to watch him over the years. I'm excited to have him."

Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players