DALLAS -- Veteran forward Ray Whitney, who has missed the last five games with a groin injury, will return for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks and man his customary spot on the left side of the second line alongside Cody Eakin and Steve Chiasson.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff sees Whitney's return as not only bolstering that youthful line, but also feels his return could benefit the Dallas power play, which is an NHL-worst 1-for-29 (3.4 percent) at home.
"Well, we know that Ray has always been a good power play guy. Before he got hurt, he had some great opportunities. Been a little bit snake bit like some of our guys were, some of the opportunities haven't gone in," Ruff said. "But I believe as the zone time keeps going up and the amount of attempts going to the net keeps going up, the puck will start going in."
Overall, the Stars come in on a two-game losing streak. However, they are also winless in their last four games at American Airlines Center (0-2-2) and with the game against Anaheim the first of a big three-game homestand for Dallas, Ruff would like to see his club start winning on home ice.
"Very important for us (to start winning at home), we've played well and haven't gotten any points (in our past two games)," Ruff said. "Now it's time for us to take some points out of these games. Obviously the work we've put into the game has been good but the results haven't been."
Kari Lehtonen will start his 15th straight game in net for Dallas.
Jonas Hiller will start a fourth straight game in net for Anaheim.
On defense for the Ducks, Nolan Yonkman, who was recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League, will fill in for Bryan Allen, who did not make the trip with a lower-body injury, on the third defensive pairing alongside Hampus Lindholm.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau loves what he has seen thus far from Lindholm, who is not only a plus-14 player through 24 games but has also chipped in seven points (two goals, five assists).
"We didn't expect Lindholm to be Lindholm. He's sort of just came in out of nowhere and took a couple jobs from everybody," Boudreau said.
Boudreau made several minor changes to his lines with Matt Beleskey moving up to the second line alongside Mathieu Perrault and Teemu Selanne. Patrick Maroon will come back into the lineup for Anaheim after being a healthy scratch the past four games and will skate on the fourth line, likely alongside Daniel Winnik and Emerson Etem.
Here are the projected lineups:
Dustin Penner – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey – Mathieu Perreault – Teemu Selanne
Andrew Cogliano – Nick Bonino – Kyle Palmieri
Patrick Maroon – Daniel Winnik – Emerson Etem
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Mark Fistric – Sami Vatanen
Nolan Yonkman – Hampus Lindholm
Scratched: Tim Jackman, Devante Smith-Pelly
Injured: Bryan Allen (lower body), Francois Beauchemin (upper body), Viktor Fasth (lower body), Saku Koivu (concussion), Andrew O'Brien (undisclosed), Luca Sbisa (hand), Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand), Sheldon Souray (wrist)
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Ray Whitney – Cody Eakin – Alex Chiasson
Erik Cole – Shawn Horcoff –Rich Peverley
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Brenden Dillon – Stephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski - Trevor Daley
Sergei Gonchar – Jordie Benn
Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Dustin Jeffrey, Aaron Rome