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Stars' Seguin, Eaves won't play Game 3

Dallas' Goligoski expected to play against St. Louis; coach won't name starting goalie

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- Injured Dallas Stars forwards Patrick Eaves and Tyler Seguin will not play in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Monday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Eaves and Seguin skated during an optional practice at Dr Pepper StarCenter Frisco on Monday but will not travel with the team for Game 3. But Ruff would not rule them out for Game 4 on Thursday.

"They have flights into St. Louis every day," Ruff said.

Eaves sustained an injury to his right leg when he was hit by a slap shot by teammate Stephen Johns during Game 1 and did not play in Game 2. Seguin has missed seven of the Stars' eight playoff games while recovering from March surgery to repair a 15-percent tear to the Achilles tendon in his left leg. He played in Game 2 of the first round against the Minnesota Wild.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm2: Eakin feeds Janmark for breakaway goal

Ruff equally was coy regarding which goalie would start Game 3, saying he had decided between Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi but was keeping the information to himself.

"I'll let you guys [the media] know [who it is] about five minutes after warm-up [Tuesday]," Ruff said.

Lehtonen started Game 2 but was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots in the first period. Niemi made 19 saves in relief. The only goal he allowed in the 4-3 loss was the game-winner by St. Louis captain David Backes at 10:58 of overtime.

"It was tough, not too many saves," Lehtonen said of his performance in Game 2. "There's not a lot to take from that, just more to forget and keep battling and on to the next one."

Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski, who was hit in the leg by a slap shot from Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko during overtime in Game 2, was not on the ice Monday but was at StarCenter on Monday and could play Game 3.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm2: Ja. Benn sets up Goligoski's snipe

"He's sore," Ruff said. "There's a guy that's really bounced back from a tough series [with Minnesota], that arguably these two games [against the Blues] has been our best defenseman."

Ruff said rookie forwards Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie, who were recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League on Saturday, could make their Stanley Cup Playoff debuts Tuesday.

McKenzie had no points in three games with Dallas this season but had 31 assists and 55 points in 61 AHL games. Ritchie, a second-round pick (No. 44) in the 2011 NHL Draft, had no points in seven NHL games this season and 14 goals and 28 points in 35 AHL games.

McKenzie and Ritchie each bring a physical presence, a priority for Ruff against the Blues. It's possible one or both could play on a line with center Vernon Fiddler.

"I have no problem playing with those guys," Fiddler said of McKenzie and Ritchie. "They're great professionals, they bring a lot of physical play and definitely can play in this League."

Video: STL@DAL, Gm2: Backes buries OT PPG to even series

The thought of making his playoff debut has Ritchie excited about the trip to St. Louis.

"That was on the bucket list when I was a little kid," he said.

Should McKenzie, Ritchie or both play in Game 3, forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has no points in six playoff games, likely would be a healthy scratch.

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