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Russell, Janmark out for Stars vs. Coyotes

Coach says each could play, but didn't want to change lineup based on recent performances

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (44-21-9) at COYOTES (32-34-7) 

TV: 10 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-A, NHL.TV

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dallas Stars will be without defenseman Kris Russell for a second straight game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Thursday.

Russell missed the 6-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday with a lower-body injury. He did not take part in the morning skate Thursday.

"He's doing well; it's just a coach's decision to hold him out again," coach Lindy Ruff said.

Forward Mattias Janmark, who has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury, skated but also won't play.  

"He is close. If pressed, he could play," Ruff said. "Kris could play. But right now it's tough to change the lineup the way it's been going. It's a good problem to have."

Kari Lehtonen will make his fifth straight start and the ninth in the past 10 games for Dallas. He has won three straight, and made 33 saves against Chicago.

The Stars have clinched a playoff spot and lead the Central Division by two points over the St. Louis Blues and six over the Blackhawks.

Dallas, the League's highest-scoring team, has outscored its past three opponents 13-5 and averaged 3.6 goals while going 8-2-2 in the past 12 road games. 

One of those losses came at Arizona on Feb. 18, when the Coyotes had a season-high 42 shots and rookies Max Domi and Anthony Duclair combined for six points in the 6-3 win.

"It was a fast game, lots of transition back and forth that makes it exciting," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "You have to be ready to play fast and think fast."

The Coyotes didn't skate Thursday. Louis Domingue starts in goal.

Here are the projected lineups:

STARS

Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Patrick Sharp

Valeri Nichushkin - Jason Spezza - Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Ales Hemsky

Colton Sceviour - Vernon Fiddler - Brett Ritchie

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya - Stephen Johns

Patrik Nemeth - Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Injured: Jason Demers (shoulder), Mattias Janmark (upper body), Kris Russell (lower body), Tyler Seguin (right Achillies)

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Travis Moen

COYOTES

Alex Tanguay - Antoine Vermette - Anthony Duclair

Jiri Sekac - Martin Hanzal - Max Domi

Tobias Rieder - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan

Jordan Martinook - Boyd Gordon - Sergei Plotnikov

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy

Klas Dahlbeck - Zbynek Michalek

Kevin Connauton - Michael Stone

Louis Domingue

Mike Smith

Scratches: Kyle Chipchura, Nicklas Grossmann, Viktor Tikhonov

Injured: Anders Lindback, Joe Vitale

Status report: Nichushkin stays on the second line with Spezza and Eaves for Dallas. Tippett said he was was pleased with the results after moving Rieder with Richardson and Doan. Hanzal did not skate Wednesday, but is expected to play.

Who's hot: Eakin has five goals and nine points in his past seven games. … Lehtonen has a 1.20 goals-against average during a five-game winning streak against the Coyotes, but hasn't faced Arizona since Dec. 31, 2014. … Tanguay has four goals and eight points in nine games with Arizona.

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