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At the Rink: Predators at Stars

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- When the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars meet Saturday at American Airlines Center, both teams will be missing key players.

Nashville (47-24-10, 104 points) has locked up second place in the Central Division, but the Predators will be without their top defensive pair against Dallas because Roman Josi and Shea Weber are both out with lower-body injuries.

The Predators have recalled defenseman Joe Piskula from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League to provide depth.

Despite Nashville being locked into second place, Predators coach Peter Laviolette still has plenty of things he wants to see against the Stars to conclude the regular season.

"I want to come in here, play the game the right way. I want to play a fast game, a strong game. I want to do the right things on the ice because usually when you do that, at the end of the night you win a hockey game," Laviolette said.

Backup goalie Carter Hutton will start for Nashville.

Dallas (40-31-10, 90 points), who will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, will be without top goal scorer Tyler Seguin because he was late to practice on Friday.

Seguin was held out of practice on Friday but did participate in the morning skate. However, Seguin remained on the ice after most of teammates had adjourned to the locker room and will not play against Nashville.

"No, we've got rules," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "The bottom line, he broke one of the team rules and he's just suffering the consequence for it."

The Stars will also be without defenseman Alex Goligoski, who missed practice on Friday with an undisclosed injury and also did not participate in morning skate.

"He's getting looked at today," Ruff said. "We don't know exactly what we're dealing with. It was a little bit of surprise, it just popped up yesterday. He fought some injuries early in the year. We don't know if this is along the same line or not. We're hoping it's something that will just go away in a few days."

Backup goalie Jhonas Enroth was first off the ice and will start a fourth consecutive game for Dallas.

"Jhonas (Enroth) has been good. He's played well for us," Ruff said. "He hasn't made any mistakes. A few starts earlier, some pucks went through him. Now it seems like he's catching a little bit of traction."

Here are the projected lineups:


Filip ForsbergMike RibeiroJames Neal

Colin WilsonMike SantorelliCraig Smith

Matt CullenCalle JarnkrokViktor Stalberg

Gabriel BourquePaul GaustadTaylor Beck

Mattias EkholmSeth Jones

Victor BartleyJoe Piskula

Ryan EllisAnton Volchenkov

Carter Hutton

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: none.

Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Cody Franson (upper body), Roman Josi (lower body), Eric Nystrom (lower body), Shea Weber (lower body).


Jamie BennCody EakinPatrick Eaves

Valeri NichushkinJason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt

Travis Moen - Shawn HorcoffColton Sceviour

Jyrki JokipakkaTrevor Daley

Patrik NemethJohn Klingberg

Jordie BennJason Demers

Jhonas Enroth

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Tyler Seguin.

Injured: Alex Goligoski (undisclosed).

Status report: Josi will miss his first game of the season. … Seguin will miss his first game since returning from a knee injury March 7.

Who's hot: Ribeiro has seven points (five assists) over his past eight games. … Jamie Benn has nine points (five assists) in his past four games.

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