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At the Rink: Coyotes at Stars

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- The Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars will look to continue their recent form at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

Arizona (14-18-4) has won three straight and Coyotes coach Dave Tippett has seen plenty to like during this recent stretch.

"That's what we're looking at, just try to continue to play the way we have been," Tippett said. "We've gotten solid goaltending. We've defended pretty well, kept chances and goals-against down, and have given ourselves a chance to win."

Tippett is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairs identical from a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

That means center Tyler Gaudet, recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League on Monday, will skate on the fourth line alongside left wing Brandon McMillan and right wing Lauri Korpikoski for a second straight game; Joe Vitale likely will miss the game because of a lower-body injury.

"[Vitale] skated this morning," Tippett said. "He'll probably be questionable for tonight."

Goalie Devan Dubnyk was first off the ice for Arizona and will start his eighth consecutive game.

Dallas (16-14-5) has won two straight and six of its past seven, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff had to shuffle his fourth line at the morning skate with veteran center Shawn Horcoff out because of illness. Horcoff is doubtful for the game.

Horcoff had been skating on the left side of the fourth line, alongside center Vernon Fiddler and right wing Travis Moen. Travis Morin will replace Horcoff in the lineup.

"[Horcoff is] just feeling sick so we'll see whether he'll be available or not," Ruff said. "[He's] most likely out."

Ruff also could play seven defensemen against the Coyotes as a roster move could be pending this afternoon, with an unnamed player battling an undisclosed injury.

"We're going to evaluate. We've got some issues obviously with another player," Ruff said. "… We have to make a decision this afternoon whether we have to get another player up here or not."

Goalie Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice for Dallas and will start a 10th consecutive game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Martin Erat - Martin Hanzal - Sam Gagner

Tobias Rieder - Kyle Chipchura - David Moss

Brandon McMillan - Tyler Gaudet - Lauri Korpikoski

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Michael Stone

Brandon Gormley - Connor Murphy

Devan Dubnyk

Mike Smith

Scratched: B.J. Crombeen, David Schlemko

Injured: Chris Summers (upper body), Joe Vitale (lower body)


Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Colton Sceviour

Erik Cole - Jason Spezza - Ales Hemsky

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt

Travis Morin - Vernon Fiddler - Travis Moen

Jyrki Jokipakka - Trevor Daley

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg

Jordie Benn - Jason Demers

Kari Lehtonen

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak

Injured: Patrick Eaves (ankle), Shawn Horcoff (illness), Patrik Nemeth (arm), Valeri Nichushkin (hip)

Status report: Tippett said Summers, who has missed the past three games with an upper-body injury, continues to skate and is getting closer to returning.

Who's hot: Dubnyk has allowed four goals during his past three starts. … Seguin has six goals in his past eight home games.

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