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Stars seek rebound effort against desperate Devils

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- Three days after seeing their three-game winning streak end, the Dallas Stars look to rebound against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at American Airlines Center.

Dallas lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Monday night to end the streak, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff knows if his club is to find a win against the Devils, a team that beat them 1-0 in New Jersey on Jan. 9, the formula is simple.

"They're a tough team to play against," Ruff said. "They take a lot of pride in that. This game is about creating, it's about defending, and they're a tough team to get chances against. They don't give up a lot of shots and they don't take a lot of penalties. I like the way they play. I just think nine times out of 10 they're not going to beat themselves."

Ruff is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairings the same as the Colorado game and Kari Lehtonen will start in net for a ninth straight game.

New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer, whose team lost 3-0 at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday to start a three-game road trip, is changing up his lines a bit.

"We're going to dress seven [defensemen] I think tonight and [Jacob] Josefson will come out. And we'll shuffle the lines a little bit, but nothing major, looking for a spark," DeBoer said.

DeBoer will go with a top line of Dainius Zubrus, Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr. The Devils' second line will be Patrik Elias, Stephen Gionta and Damien Brunner. Eric Gelinas will be New Jersey's extra defenseman.

And with the Devils currently sitting 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, DeBoer admits a sense of desperation has set in with his club.

"I don't think there's any doubt, you have to start to move," DeBoer said. "We've been talking about that for a few weeks here. And again, that pressure can't paralyze you. You've got to embrace it. We've kept ourselves in the mix and now we've got find a way to separate ourselves."

Cory Schneider will start in goal for the Devils.

Here are the projected lineups:


Dainius ZubrusTravis ZajacJaromir Jagr

Patrik EliasStephen Gionta - Damien Brunner

Ryane CloweAdam HenriqueMichael Ryder

Ryan CarterSteve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Bryce SalvadorMarek Zidlicky

Anton VolchenkovJon Merrill

Eric Gelinas

Cory Schneider

Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Jacob Josefson, Andrei Loktionov

Injured: Peter Harrold (foot)


Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin

Antoine Roussel - Cody EakinRyan Garbutt

Ray WhitneyVernon FiddlerErik Cole

Rich Peverley - Shawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley

Jordie Benn - Brenden Dillon

Aaron Rome - Sergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen

Dan Ellis

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Dustin Jeffrey

Injured: Stephane Robidas (leg)

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