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Preview: Stars at Blues

Dallas begins road trip in St. Louis with new lines for Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (9-8-5) at BLUES (12-7-3)

8 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-MW, FS-SW, NHL.TV

 

Stars team scope

The Dallas Stars begin a four-game road trip and coach Lindy Ruff will change some of his lines, including splitting Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. "I think we're shaking the whole thing up," Ruff said. "We're going to go back to the road lines we had where we were successful in our last trip. We're going to go with a four-line approach and try to divvy up the ice time. We've got back-to-back games, we've got four in six. We've got a tough haul. We're finishing off a tough haul right now. The idea is try not to overplay and keep the energy of this team up." The Stars also are experimenting with their defense and will make veteran Dan Hamhuis a healthy scratch. Defenseman Stephen Johns, recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League on Sunday, will not play Monday after playing in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. He joins a group of eight defensemen vying for time. "There's been a lot of internal competition," Ruff said. "At different times we've had guys push through and look like they can be the guy in there night after night. The [Esa] Lindells, [Jamie] Oleksiaks, [Patrik] Nemeth, all those guys have had a kick at it. Johns is in that category. I think with any young defensemen there's some play you'd like to get cleaned up, but you're going to have to live with some of it too." Goalie Antti Niemi will start.

 

Blues team scope

St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen (upper body) and defenseman Joel Edmundson (upper body) each will miss the game, although they are close to returning. "I'm going to have some really hard decisions," coach Ken Hitchcock said, referring to their eventual return. "Both [Edmundson] and Steen are going to make it easy for the coach, tough for the players. That's competition. That's what happens. That's what we were hoping [for] at the start of the year, that the internal competition would make us better quick. It's approaching that stage right now." The Blues are 7-0-2 in their past nine home games, tying a mark of nine straight games with at least a point set from Dec. 19, 2013-Jan. 14, 2014. Jake Allen, 7-0-2 on home ice, will start in goal.

 

Stars projected lineup

Antoine Roussel -- Tyler Seguin -- Patrick Eaves

Jamie Benn -- Radek Faksa -- Lauri Korpikoski

Devin Shore -- Jason Spezza -- Patrick Sharp

Adam Cracknell -- Cody Eakin -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak -- Jordie Benn

Patrik Nemeth -- Julius Honka

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Dan Hamhuis, Curtis McKenzie, Stephen Johns

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

 

Blues projected lineup

Jaden Schwartz -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Robby Fabbri -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Patrik Berglund -- Ty Rattie

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Robert Bortuzzo -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nail Yakupov

Injured: Alexander Steen (upper body), Joel Edmundson (upper body)

 

Status report

Hamhuis, who will be replaced by Nemeth, will be a healthy scratch for the second time this season and second time in his 14-season NHL career. "We really feel we're going to use eight defensemen," Ruff said. "Nemeth is a big, strong defenseman we want to get back in the lineup." ... The Blues will use the same lineup from a 4-3 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, meaning Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for the seventh time in 12 games.

 

Who's hot

Perron has two goals and eight assists during a seven-game point streak. ... Schwartz has five goals and three assists during a six-game point streak, and seven goals and four assists in the past 10 games. ... Ritchie has three goals and an assist in the past five games. ... Faksa has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak.

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