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Preview: Stars at Panthers

Goalie James Reimer starts for Florida; Dallas forward Remi Elie makes NHL debut

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

STARS (25-29-10) AT PANTHERS (29-23-11)

7 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-F, NHL.TV


Stars team scope

Forward Remi Elie will make his NHL debut for the Dallas Stars after forward Antoine Roussel sustained a hand injury in a 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday. "I found out the other day; during the game [assistant GM Scott White] called me and told me they were going to call me back up," said Elie, 21, who had 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) with Texas of the American Hockey League. "I'm very excited and it's going to be a dream come true tonight. I've been dreaming this all my life." Forward Ales Hemsky is questionable with a foot injury after blocking a shot against the Islanders. If Hemsky is unavailable, Dallas will need to dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. The Stars are eight points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, and are 7-18-4 on the road. "Our road record, obviously it's been disappointing," coach Lindy Ruff said. "So take it one game at a time and work on getting wins on the road." Goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected to start in goal after Antti Niemi started the previous two games.


Panthers team scope

James Reimer will take over as the Florida Panthers starting goalie after Roberto Luongo sustained a lower-body injury in a 2-1 shootout loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Reimer made 35 saves in relief against Philadelphia, but the Panthers lost for the fourth time in five games. "He's a big body and he stays pretty level-headed," coach Tom Rowe said. "Every night he's been in there he's played great." Reimer has a .922 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average in 28 games this season. Forward Thomas Vanek will play his second game with Florida after being acquired in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. Vanek had five shots against the Flyers, and Rowe said he thinks Vanek will help forward Nick Bjugstad. "For one, they know each other from Minnesota back in the summer time," Rowe said. "And I think putting [Bjugstad] back in the middle was good for him … that's why we made the trade for Vanek, to give us three balanced lines." Florida is two points behind the Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and three points behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division.


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Cody Eakin -- Tyler Seguin

Remi Elie -- Jason Spezza -- Brett Ritchie

Devin Shore -- Radek Faksa -- Patrick Sharp

Curtis McKenzie -- Jiri Hudler -- Ales Hemsky

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Greg Pateryn

Jamie Oleksiak -- Stephen Johns

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Patrik Nemeth

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Adam Cracknell (lower body), Antoine Roussel (hand)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen -- Vincent Trocheck -- Reilly Smith

Thomas Vanek -- Nick Bjugstad -- Jonathan Marchessault

Shawn Thornton -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mark Pysyk -- Alex Petrovic

Michael Matheson -- Jason Demers

James Reimer

Reto Berra

Scratched: Denis Malgin, Jakub Kindl, Michael Sgarbossa

Injured: Roberto Luongo (lower body)


Status report

Cracknell may be able to play Monday at the Washington Capitals. … Florida recalled Berra from Springfield of the AHL on Friday. Rowe said Luongo's injury will keep him out roughly a week.


Who's hot

Benn has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. Seguin has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in his past eight games. … Reimer is 5-2-1 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in his past nine games.

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