Skip to main content

Spezza back on Stars' top line against Devils

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

DEVILS (11-14-5) at STARS (10-13-5)

TV: MSG+, FS-SW

Forward Jason Spezza will be back on the Dallas Stars' top line Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

Spezza will skate with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, a combination that was successful earlier in the season. With the Stars having lost five of their past six games, coach Lindy Ruff opted to change the lines.

"It's been a good 2-3 days of practice," Ruff said Saturday. "I think we're ready to go."

Spezza had been paired primarily with Antoine Roussell and Ales Hemsky on the second line, but Cody Eakin will skate on that line Saturday. Since scoring 12 points in the first 10 games, Spezza has one goal in eight games.

Hemsky was a healthy scratch for the past two games but returns to the lineup. Forward Ryan Garbutt will serve the first of his two-game suspension.

The Stars have given up five goals in each of their past five losses, and Ruff said the power play and penalty kill are a big reason. The power play is 4-for-25 and the penalty kill has allowed five goals in the five losses.

"I think special teams is going to be a big deal," he said. "We didn't take a penalty in [a 3-2 shootout win Oct. 24 in New] Jersey and played a pretty good game there."

The Devils did not have a morning skate, with an NBA game being played at American Airlines Center.

Here are the projected lineups:

DEVILS

Martin Havlat - Scott Gomez - Jaromir Jagr

Mike Cammalleri - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder

Stephen Gionta - Jacob Josefson - Steve Bernier

Jordin Tootoo - Tuomo Ruutu - Mike Sislo

Jon Merrill - Marek Zidlicky

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

Eric Gelinas - Peter Harrold

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Seth Helgeson

Injured: Ryane Clowe (head), Patrik Elias (groin), Adam Larsson (mumps), Bryce Salvador (lower body), Travis Zajac (mumps), Dainius Zubrus (leg)

STARS

Jamie BennJason SpezzaTyler Seguin

Antoine RousselCody EakinAles Hemsky

Curtis McKenzieTravis MorinErik Cole

Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Jyrki JokipakkaTrevor Daley

Jordie BennJason Demers

Kari Lehtonen

Jussi Rynnas

Injured: Patrick Eaves (ankle), Travis Moen (upper body), Patrik Nemeth (arm), Valeri Nichushkin (hip)

Suspended: Ryan Garbutt

Status report: Goligoski (lower body) didn't practice the past two days but Ruff said he will be in the lineup. … Nichushkin, who had hip surgery in November, was at the Stars practice facility rehabbing but his return is unknown. … Gelinas has been a healthy scratch the past two games but could return.

Who's hot: Seguin has 15 goals in his past 15 games. … Spezza has 30 points in 30 games against the Devils. … Cammalleri has four goals in his past eight games. …Schneider is 7-3-1 against the Stars.

View More