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At the Rink: Stars at Ducks

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

The Dallas Stars likely will get forward Ales Hemsky and defenseman Jordie Benn back in the lineup when they visit the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SN, PRIME, FS-SD, FS-SW+).

Hemsky has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury; Benn has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury. Each practiced this week; the Stars have not played since Saturday.

"Feeling good. It's good to get back on the ice and skate with the fellas," Benn told the Stars website earlier this week. "I just needed that couple days just to do a little rehab and get some rest and back to normal [before Friday]."

Dallas is hoping to come out fast and not be sluggish after an extended break.

"Our speed should last the whole game," coach Lindy Ruff said. "With five days off, I've erred of not going overboard with practices and trying to keep them fresh ... We have no excuses for the speed not being ramped up the whole game."

The Stars (29-11-4) begin a three-game California road trip, playing the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Dallas is 12-6-4 on the road but 1-4-3 in its past eight road games.

"It was good for us to get the break," defenseman Alex Goligoski told the Stars website. "It was a tough run that we had and our game got away from us for a little bit. We are looking forward to having a fresh start."

The Ducks (18-17-7) enter Friday scoring the fewest goals in the League (82) while the Stars have scored the most (149).

"It's certainly going to be a challenge," coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks website after the morning skate. "You're taking the highest scoring team and seeing how you fare against them. They're a team that's had five days off, so they're well-rested after a mini slump. They're going to play their best."

Despite their recent slump, the Ducks are aware of what the Stars are capable of offensively.

"We know they're a great team," Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "They have so many skilled players who can score from basically nothing. Every guy out there has to be sharp. Our offense is going to come. Over 60 minutes, we're going to have chances to score. We have to be patient."

Frederik Andersen, who made 24 saves in a 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, likely will start his second straight game for the first time since Dec. 19-21. Kari Lehtonen will start for the Stars.

Here are the projected lineups:

STARS

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Mattias JanmarkJason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselCody EakinValeri Nichushkin

Travis Moen - Vernon Fiddler - Patrick Eaves

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jyrki JokipakkaJordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Patrik Nemeth, Colton Sceviour, Jamie Oleksiak

Injured: none

DUCKS

Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Carl Hagelin - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Patrick Maroon - Shawn Horcoff - Andrew Cogliano

Mike Santorelli - Nate Thompson - Chris Stewart

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen - Kevin Bieksa

Shea Theodore - Clayton Stoner

Frederik Andersen

John Gibson

Injured: Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Cam Fowler (knee)

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Jiri Sekac

Status report: Oleksiak likely will come out of the lineup for Benn, and Faksa or Sceviour likely will be out for Hemsky and Moen.

Who's hot: Sharp has a 12-game point streak (six goals, nine assists). ... Klingberg has one goal and six points in seven games. ... Perry has three goals in five games.

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