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Ruff keeping Stars' lines same; Alberts in for Canucks

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- After the Dallas Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Tuesday at American Airlines Center, one night after a 6-3 loss to the Avalanche at Pepsi Center, Stars coach Lindy Ruff is keeping his lines and defensive pairings the same for a visit Thursday from the Vancouver Canucks.

"We had a complete turnaround where we did good things with the puck. We had people coming back and I thought all lines paid real good attention to detail," Ruff said.

However, one change for Dallas will be in net where starter Kari Lehtonen returns to the crease after Dan Ellis started Tuesday and made 25 saves to earn his fourth win of the season.

Lehtonen has struggled recently, going 2-3-3 with a 3.40 goals-against-average and a .902 save percentage in his past eight starts. However, Ruff doesn't sound concerned.

"He doesn't like his numbers in the last few games and I think it's one area that he knows he needs to clean up," Ruff said. "We've seen him play spectacular even when outshot and outplayed. But I'd expect a lot tighter game by our team and he knows he wants to be better."

Vancouver will go with Roberto Luongo in net for a fourth consecutive game.

There will be one change for the Canucks, with defenseman Andrew Alberts replacing Ryan Stanton, who has returned to Vancouver to be further evaluated after leaving the ice with a lower-body injury during a game Tuesday at the Minnesota Wild.

"He's going to be out for a while. It's weeks, so I'll leave it at that," coach John Tortorella said of Stanton.

Thursday marks the first game back in Dallas for former Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, who was not retained in May after two seasons coaching the Stars. Gulutzan is an assistant coach with the Canucks.

"You can't dwell," Gulutzan said. "Of course no one likes to be let go or whatever, but things happen, GM changes and everything. You've just got to move. Move forward."

Here are the projected lineups:


Daniel SedinHenrik SedinJannik Hansen

Chris HigginsRyan KeslerMike Santorelli

David BoothBrad RichardsonZack Kassian

Jeremy WelshZac DalpeDale Weise

Dan HamhuisChristopher Tanev

Andrew Alberts - Kevin Bieksa

Yannick WeberJason Garrison

Roberto Luongo

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Tom Sestito

Injured: Alexandre Burrows (fractured jaw), Alexander Edler (lower body), Jordan Schroeder (lower body), Ryan Stanton (lower body)


Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin

Antoine Roussel - Cody EakinRyan Garbutt

Ray WhitneyShawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson

Erik ColeRich PeverleyColton Sceviour

Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon

Jordie BennSergei Gonchar

Kevin ConnautonCameron Gaunce

Kari Lehtonen

Dan Ellis

Scratched: Maxime Fortunus, Dustin Jeffrey

Injured: Trevor Daley (lower body), Vernon Fiddler (upper body), Stephane Robidas (leg), Aaron Rome (lower body)

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