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At the Rink: Stars at Coyotes

by Jerry Brown

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Coming in to face the Arizona Coyotes with a seven-game winless streak on their backs, the Dallas Stars are stirring up the roster in search of a spark.

The Stars shipped veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday in exchange for forward Travis Moen, and defenseman John Klingberg will make his NHL debut at Gila River Arena as Dallas looks to end an 0-4-3 slide that ruined an optimistic 4-2-1 start to the season.

Moen will join the Stars on Wednesday.

Klingberg will finally give Dallas a right-handed shot on the back line. He will be paired Alex Goligoski.

The Coyotes know they will be facing a desperate group of Stars, but Arizona coach Dave Tippett is more concerned with the momentum of his team.

Arizona had a three-game winning streak snapped in a tough 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Coyotes allowed a goal in the final three minutes and generated very few offensive chances but their defensive play, a key to their success, continued on an upswing that has Tippett optimistic -- if they continue to play the same way.

"We want to be a team that if we lose a game, we bounce right back and that's our attitude," Tippett said. "We gotta get out there and get to work. I expect it to be a fast and a tight game. We have to be able to bring our best in a game like tonight."

Tippett made some changes to his lineup as well, scratching forward Rob Klinkhammer. Kyle Chipchura, who has sat out the last four games, will be back in.

The resurgent Mike Smith will be in goal for Arizona. After a very inconsistent start, Smith has settled in over the past five games. He has a 1.99 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage over that span, stopping 153 of 163 shots.

Goalie Kari Lehtonen will start for Dallas.

The Coyotes will be on the lookout for Dallas center Jason Spezza, who dominated Arizona when he was with the Ottawa Senators. Spezza has seven goals and 10 points in 10 games against Arizona, and is off to a good offensive start with 13 points in his first 14 games with the Stars.

"Their personnel has really changed," said Tippett, who is 9-3-1 against his former team at Gila River Arena. "Jamie Benn has turned into a superstar player, but they've added Spezza this year, (Ales) Hemsky, lots of high skill. They play a quick, fast game."

Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle will play in his 400th consecutive game Tuesday. Yandle will join Dale Hawerchuk as the only two players to play 400 consecutive games with the Jets/Coyotes franchise.

Yandle and teammate Antoine Vermette, who played his 400th consecutive game earlier in the season, rank third and fourth on the NHL's active list for consecutive games played. They trail only Jay Bouwmeester of the St. Louis Blues (731) and Andrew Cogliano of the Anaheim Ducks (556).

Here are the projected lineups:


Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Eaves

Curtis McKenzieJason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt

Erik ColeShawn HorcoffColton Sceviour

Brenden DillonTrevor Daley

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Jordie BennJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Kevin Connauton

Injured: Patrik Nemeth (right arm laceration, Valeri Nichushkin (hip/groin), Cody Eakin (upper body)


Tobias Reider-- Antoine Vermette -- Shane Doan

Brandon McMillanMartin HanzalMartin Erat

Lauri KorpikoskiSam GagnerMikkel Boedker

Kyle ChipchuraJoe VitaleB.J. Crombeen

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Zybnek Michalek

Keith YandleConnor Murphy

Brandon GormleyMichael Stone

Mike Smith

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Rob Klinkhammer, David Schlemko, Chris Summers

Injured: David Moss (upper body)

Status report: McMillan will replace Klinkhammer next to Martin Hanzal and Martin Erat on Arizona's second line. Chipchura will be reunited with Vitale and Crombeen on the third line. … Oleksiak will replace Connauton on defense for the Stars.

Who's hot: Smith has a history of playing well against his former team with a record of 7-3-5 with a 1.96 GAA and a .929 save percentage in 15 games against Dallas.

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