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At the Rink: Canucks at Stars

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- When the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars play Tuesday at American Airlines Center, two streaks will be on the line.

Vancouver, which lost 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at Rogers Arena, looks to remain unbeaten on the road, where the Canucks are 2-0-0 this season.

The Stars, who lost 6-5 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday in Dallas, still are seeking their first home win of the season (0-0-2).

Facing Dallas is a homecoming for first-year Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, who spent the past four seasons in the Stars organization, two as an assistant to former coaches Marc Crawford and Glen Gulutzan (now part of his staff in Vancouver), and the past two seasons coaching the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, the 2014 Calder Cup champions.

"Yeah, it's a special game for me. This is a good organization and I know a lot of guys in the organization, so it is a special place," Desjardins said. "So right from the start I knew when this game was going to be."

Desjardins made one small change to his lines from Saturday, moving center Linden Vey from the third to the fourth line and Shawn Matthias, who centered the fourth line against the Lightning, to the left side of the third line.

"I don't think we've had quite what we want out of that line but I think there's lots of different things," Desjardins said. "It's not necessarily the players. I think it's a mixture. I think it's the ice time, lots of different things. They've done a good job defensively and maybe we just haven't got as much offensively from them."

Goalie Ryan Miller was first off the ice for Vancouver and will start his fourth game of the season.

For a second straight game Stars coach Lindy Ruff will start a top line of left wing and captain Jamie Benn, center Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin moving from center to right wing. Against the Flyers that line combined for nine points, including four-point games for Seguin and Spezza. It's a line the Canucks clearly have immense respect for.

"If they put them together [Tuesday], that's a good line," Canucks center Henrik Sedin said. "[Cody] Eakin and [Ryan] Garbutt, that line has been real effective. It's going to be a real tough matchup."

Ruff wants to see his team clean up several areas that cost the Stars on Saturday. Dallas blew a 4-2 lead after two periods against the Flyers.

"I think some of our puck management wasn't good. Some of those decisions hurt us inside the game," Ruff said. "Again, I thought we took a couple penalties that I referenced as stupid. Those mental mistakes hurt us in the game. We had some tough breaks but I thought some of the stuff inside the last game we brought on ourselves."

Goalie Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice for Dallas and will start his fourth straight game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata

Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Alexandre Burrows

Shawn Matthias - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian

Derek Dorsett - Linden Vey - Jannik Hansen

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Yannick Weber - Luca Sbisa

Ryan Miller

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Frank Corrado, Tom Sestito

Injured: Ryan Stanton (lower body)


Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Tyler Seguin

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt

Curtis McKenzie - Vernon Fiddler - Ales Hemsky

Erik Cole - Shawn Horcoff - Colton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski - Trevor Daley

Jordie Benn - Brenden Dillon

Kevin Connauton - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Patrick Eaves, Jyrki Jokipakka

Injured: Sergei Gonchar (ankle), Patrik Nemeth (right arm laceration), Valeri Nichushkin (groin/hip)

Status report: With Nemeth out at least for the rest of the regular season, Oleksiak is the next man up on Dallas' third defense pairing, alongside Connauton. ... Ruff plugged in Sceviour, a healthy scratch Saturday, into the fourth line for Eaves, who likely will be scratched for the second time in the Stars' first six games.

Who's hot: Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks in with seven points and has at least in a point in Vancouver's first four games. … Seguin has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past three games for Dallas.

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