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Preview: Stars at Predators

Dallas defenseman John Klingberg was healthy scratch Monday; Nashville looks to continue strong play at home

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (8-7-5) at PREDATORS (8-7-3)

8 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, FS-SW+, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 
Stars team scope

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg could be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. Klingberg was scratched in the Stars' 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Monday for being late to a meeting. Coach Lindy Ruff did not divulge his defense pairings after the morning skate. Dallas is placing extra importance on games within the Central Division. "Us and Nashville are going to be two teams that are going to be neck and neck, so a game in November is just as important as a game we're going to play in March," forward Jason Spezza said. "That's where you stress the importance." Forward Tyler Seguin has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past nine games and leads the Stars with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 20 games.

 
Predators team scope

The Nashville Predators are coming off a 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and are 6-1-1 at home. Defenseman Roman Josi left the game against the Lightning in the third period after being hit by Tampa Bay forward J.T. Brown and did not return, but participated in practice on Tuesday. The Predators' penalty kill is 24-for-24 at home this season. "I think it's just attention to detail," forward Colton Sissons said. "Getting our clears down the ice and not turning those pucks over. One thing that we've been working on is winning our faceoffs in the defensive zone, just to get that puck and get it down right away kills a lot of time. Just all those little things, and I think guys are pretty desperate out there and sacrifice their body blocking shots."

 
Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Tyler Seguin

Patrick Sharp - Jason Spezza - Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Brett Ritchie

Lauri Korpikoski - Devin Shore - Adam Cracknell

Dan Hamhuis - Julius Honka

Jordie Benn - Stephen Johns

Esa Lindell - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: John Klingberg, Curtis McKenzie

Injured: Ales Hemsky (hip), Jiri Hudler (illness), Mattias Janmark (knee), Johnny Oduya (lower body)

 

Predators projected lineup

Viktor Arvidsson - Ryan Johansen - James Neal

Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Pontus Aberg

Colton Sissons - Calle Jarnkrok - Austin Watson

Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis

Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Marek Mazanec

Scratched: Cody Bass, Matt Carle

Injured: Anthony Bitetto (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (upper body)

 

Status report

The Stars and Predators each had an optional skate Tuesday. … Lehtonen is expected to start after Niemi played in the win against Minnesota. ... Rinne is expected to make his 16th start in Nashville's 19 games.

Who's hot

Eaves has eight points (six goals, two assists) in a six-game point streak. … Subban has two goals and three assists in the past three games. Rinne has won five of his past six starts and has a 1.18 goals-against average during that span. 

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