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Stars get Eaves back against Canadiens

Recovered from pneumonia, forward returns to Dallas top line

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

STARS (40-20-7) at CANADIENS (30-30-6)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; RDS, SNE, FS-SW, NHL.TV

MONTREAL -- Dallas Stars right wing Patrick Eaves will return to the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Eaves missed the past seven games while recovering from pneumonia.

"I feel good. I just got a little sick there, or really sick, but I feel good," Eaves said after the morning skate. "This is always a great building to play in, so having your first game back here is pretty exciting."

He will play on center Tyler Seguin's line with left wing Jamie Benn.

"He's a simple player that me and [Seguin] can feed off of," Benn said. "I think he's comfortable playing with us and I know he's the linemate I like most on the right side. He's going to bring a lot of grit and a simple game that helps out myself and Tyler." 

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff likes Eaves' fit with the Stars' top scorers.

"They had some good chemistry, were playing well before he got sick," Ruff said. "He's got a great shot, he goes to the net and stays around the net. It's a good complement to those two guys." 

Seguin has been held without a point in his past four games and Benn has two assists in his past five, but center Jason Spezza has scored in three straight games.

"It's my job," Spezza said. "Tyler and Jamie have carried us for most of the year and they're two of the best players in the game. They're still playing well, they're still doing a lot of other things.

"Goal-scoring is tough to do in this League, so you're going to have times when you don't score and don't feel as good. The depth of our team has probably helped us. We have a very deep group with lots of experience in scoring goals. That helps those guys, but there's no doubt they're the engine of our team." 

Montreal center Alex Galchenyuk will face the Stars after missing practice Monday because of a lower-body injury he sustained Saturday.

Galchenyuk had his third two-goal game in his past six games in the Canadiens' 4-2 loss at the Winnipeg Jets, which ended a 0-3-1 road trip.

"Obviously the puck has been going in the net lately for me and I'm definitely happy about it," Galchenyuk said. "I worked on my offensive game and I'm still trying to get it going and trying to be creative out there and use my skill to create plays, but there's still a lot of work to be done for myself, and I'm excited for it."

Both of Galchenyuk's goals were set up by left wing Max Pacioretty.

"I think it's definitely important for me to build a chemistry with him," Galchenyuk said. "We both want to be successful and both want to succeed together, and last game we made some good plays and obviously he set me up a couple of times, but there's still time to adjust and I'll adjust to him and he'll adjust to me, but I'm excited to play with him.

"Obviously, he's a big weapon on this team, and we'll try and go out there create as much as we can and bring as much offense as we can."

Forward Lars Eller skated briefly during an optional skate Tuesday and will be a game-time decision. Eller had a therapy day Monday for an upper-body injury Montreal coach Michel Therrien said he has been playing through.

Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher is out because of a lower-body injury he sustained in the first period Saturday. His status will be updated after the game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Eaves

Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Valeri Nichushkin

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky

Radek Faksa - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour

Kris Russell - Alex Goligoski

Johnny Oduya - Jason Demers

Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Injured: John Klingberg (lower body), Jordie Benn (lower body), Patrick Sharp (lower body)

Scratched: Travis Moen, Brett Ritchie


Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Sven Andrighetto

Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Torrey Mitchell

Stefan Matteau - Michael McCarron - Paul Byron

Jacob De La Rose - Phillip Danault - Mike Brown

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Greg Pateryn

Victor Bartley - Mark Barberio

Ben Scrivens

Mike Condon

Injured: Brendan Gallagher (lower body), Carey Price (lower body), Nathan Beaulieu (lower body), Daniel Carr (knee), David Desharnais (broken left foot), Brian Flynn (lower body), Jeff Petry (abdomen), Tom Gilbert (left knee)

Scratched: Lucas Lessio

Status report: Klingberg did not make the trip. "He's a special player and any time he's out of the lineup we're going to miss him," Jamie Benn said. "But it gives other guys on this team an opportunity to step up. I think Nemeth and Oleksiak are ready to jump in." … Lessio will draw in if Eller is unable to play. Price worked out in full equipment with goaltending coach Stephane Waite after the morning skate.

Who's hot: Spezza has six goals in his past seven games. Goligoski has five assists during a four-game point streak. Sceviour has four goals and six points in his past seven games. Fiddler has three goals and four points in his past four games. Roussel has two goals and three points in his past three games. … Galchenyuk has seven goals in his past six games.

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