DALLAS -- After missing the past four games with a broken finger, Dallas Stars center Shawn Horcoff will return to the ice on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators at American Airlines Center.
"It looks like he's going to play," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said in a short pregame media session.
Horcoff will likely center Dallas' fourth line alongside left wing Ray Whitney and rookie right wing Valeri Nichushkin. While Horcoff will play, veteran left wing Erik Cole, who did not practice on Friday, and rookie right wing Alex Chiasson, who left practice early, will be game-time decisions.
After practice on Friday, Ruff said Cole was fine and that he was just given a maintenance day. But Chiasson left the practice rink early with an undisclosed injury.
"We don't know on him," Ruff said about Chiasson's status. "And we don't know on Cole yet."
Goalie Kari Lehtonen is likely to start for Dallas.
Ruff also has a decision to make with third defensive pairing. It will be either rookie Kevin Connauton or veteran Aaron Rome who skates alongside Sergei Gonchar against Ottawa.
Dallas is currently on a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) and Ruff didn't mince words when asked what he'd like to see from his team.
"I'd like to see us stay out of the penalty box, for sure. I think we've taken some penalties early that gave the teams some momentum," Ruff said. "I'd like to see some good zone time, some good offensive zone time where we've gotten in there and challenged their goalie."
Goaltender Robin Lehner will start for Ottawa, which has dropped five straight.
Due to the early start time, neither team had a morning skate on Saturday.
Here are the projected lineups for the Senators and Stars:
Milan Michalek – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan
Mike Hoffman – Mika Zibanejad – Erik Condra
Colin Greening – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips – Cody Ceci
Jared Cowen – Eric Gryba
Scratched: Matt Kassian, Patrick Wiercioch.
Injured: Craig Anderson (shoulder), Nathan Lawson (lower body), Mark Stone (arm).
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alex Chiasson
Erik Cole – Cody Eakin - Colton Sceviour
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Ray Whitney - Shawn Horcoff – Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar
Scratched: Chris Mueller, Aaron Rome.
Injured: Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat).