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Stars to have Gonchar back, possibly Daley as well

by Dan Rosen

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Dallas Stars will get one veteran defenseman back in the lineup Monday night at Nassau Coliseum and coach Lindy Ruff left open the possibility of another one returning as well.

Sergei Gonchar will play against the New York Islanders after missing the past six games with a concussion. Ruff said Trevor Daley, who has missed 14 straight games with an ankle injury, will be a game-time decision.

"I'll try to start with short shifts to pick up the tempo, get in a rhythm and then you slowly get back into it," Gonchar said. "That's the only way to do it. It doesn't matter if you're older or younger, you have to be smart about it. Obviously being out for so long and playing against a fast team like the Islanders, you have to make sure that you're ready and you're doing things right from the beginning."

Between them, Gonchar and Daley have appeared in 1,880 NHL games. Since Stephane Robidas (871 career games) is also out of the lineup, the Stars have been going with a blue line that features six guys with a combined 760 games, but that includes 358 for Alex Goligoski and 209 for Aaron Rome.

It's unclear who will come out of the lineup for Gonchar and possibly Daley, but the likely candidates are Rome and Cameron Gaunce. Kari Lehtonen will start in net for the Stars. The forward lines are as follows:

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt

Erik Cole - Rich Peverley - Alex Chiasson

Shawn Horcoff - Vernon Fiddler - Ray Whitney


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