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Horcoff out for Stars; Murray in for Canadiens

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- For the second straight game the Dallas Stars will be without a key veteran. Center Shawn Horcoff missed the morning skate Thursday with an illness and was ruled out for the game against the Montreal Canadiens at American Airlines Center.

"He's been bit with the flu bug so he won't play [Thursday]," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

Dustin Jeffrey, who filled in for Ray Whitney in the Stars' 3-2 win Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings (a game Whitney missed due to illness), will slide into Horcoff's spot on the left side of the fourth line.

Whitney went through the morning skate with no issue but there is some doubt about his availability for the game, so the Stars recalled forward Colton Sceviour from Texas of the American Hockey League.

Sceviour, who returned to the AHL on Dec. 28, had three goals and one assist in seven NHL games after being recalled Dec. 9. He leads the AHL with 21 goals.

Ruff shuffled his top line a bit in the morning session, moving Alex Chiasson, a Montreal native, up from the third line to skate alongside captain Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin. With Chiasson moving up, rookie Valeri Nichushkin, the Stars' top pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (No. 10), was shifted to the third line alongside Erik Cole and Rich Peverley.

Kari Lehtonen will start his seventh consecutive game in net for Dallas.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien is keeping his lines intact after the Canadiens lost 5-4 in overtime Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Therrien did make one change on defense, with Douglas Murray playing for the first time since Dec. 21, with Alexei Emelin likely coming out.

"It feels great," Murray said of returning to the lineup. "Playing games is a lot more fun than working out."

Carey Price will start in net for Montreal.

Here are the projected lineups:


Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Brandon Prust

Travis Moen - Ryan White - Michael Bournival

Josh Gorges - Andrei Markov

Douglas Murray - Raphael Diaz

Francis Bouillon - P.K. Subban

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Daniel Briere, Alexei Emelin

Injured: Davis Drewiske (shoulder), George Parros (concussion)


Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alex Chiasson

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt

Erik Cole - Rich Peverley - Valeri Nichushkin

Dustin Jeffrey - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski - Brenden Dillon

Aaron Rome - Jordie Benn

Kevin Connauton - Cameron Gaunce

Kari Lehtonen

Dan Ellis

Injured: Trevor Daley (ankle), Sergei Gonchar (concussion symptoms), Shawn Horcoff (illness), Stephane Robidas (leg), Ray Whitney (illness)

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