The Dallas Stars
will be missing All-Star Jamie Benn
for a third straight game when they face the Montreal Canadiens
tonight. And while star forward Loui Eriksson
will play, it's likely he'll be a pretty tired.
Eriksson was flying to Montreal from Dallas on Tuesday to re-join the team after his wife gave birth to the couple's second daughter on Monday morning, just as the team's flight here was leaving.
As for Benn, he took the ice briefly after his teammates were finished with the morning skate, but the cut on his left leg is not healed enough for him to return.
"It's the equivalent of getting stabbed in the leg," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "He wants to play (Thursday) in Chicago. He's getting better every day, so that's the encouraging part."
Another Dallas player looking to make a return Thursday is defenseman Sheldon Souray
, who has been out since Feb. 9 with a foot injury.
Souray took a regular turn with the Stars at their morning skate, but it was just his second time practicing with the team and his conditioning is not where it needs to be to face the Canadiens.
"I was pushing for this game," Souray, who spent six seasons with the Canadiens, said.
For the Canadiens, rookie forward Louis Leblanc
will return to the lineup after missing the last game with the flu, while Erik Cole
will be available even though he sat out Monday's practice with a leg injury.
The goaltending matchup is Kari Lehtonen
for the Stars against Montreal's Carey Price
, who will start his ninth game in a row.
Here are the expected lineups for tonight:
- Mike Ribeiro
- Michael Ryder
- Tom Wandell
- Tomas Vincour
- Vernon Fiddler
- Radek Dvorak
- Jake Dowell
- Adam Burish
- Stephane Robidas
- Philip Larsen
- Trevor Daley
will start in net, with Richard Bachman
backing him up.
- David Desharnais
- Erik Cole
- Tomas Plekanec
- Rene Bourque
- Scott Gomez
- Andrei Kostitsyn
- Lars Eller
- P.K. Subban
- Raphael Diaz
- Chris Campoli
will start in net, with Peter Budaj