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Preview: Canucks at Stars

Vancouver looks for second straight road win; Dallas juggles lines

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (8-10-2) at STARS (8-8-5)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, SNP, NHL.TV

 

Canucks Team Scope

Forward Jack Skille is expected to return to the Vancouver Canucks' lineup after missing a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday with an upper-body injury. "We didn't talk after the morning skate, but we're hoping that he's good to skate (tonight)," coach Willie Desjardins said. If Skille returns, rookie Joseph Labate will come out of the lineup. The Canucks are 2-6-1 on the road and looking for their first road winning streak. "We've played well on the road and we haven't been able to win those games," center Bo Horvat said. "On the other side, we've played poorly at home and won some games we shouldn't. Hopefully it starts to even itself out tonight." Desjardins is familiar with the Dallas Stars' young players after he coached their American Hockey League affiliate to a Calder Cup Championship in 2014. "A lot of the guys on this I know well," Desjardins said of the Stars. "I've seen where they've gone from when I've had them to where they are now. Never at your expense, but you like to see them succeed." Ryan Miller will start in goal after making 35 saves against Arizona.

 

Stars Team Scope

Patrick Sharp scored his first goal of the season in the Stars' 5-2 loss at the Nashville Predators on Wednesday and will play his fourth game after returning from a concussion on Nov. 19. "I think I just got to be out there playing," Sharp said. "I feel like every period I've been improving a little bit." The Stars are juggling lines and moving Patrick Eaves to the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Cody Eakin is moving to the second line and centering Sharp and Jason Spezza. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis played for Vancouver from 2009-16 before signing with Dallas as a free agent. "It always will be weird," Hamhuis said. "The harder one was going back there for the first one. Luckily got that out of the way already, so hopefully tonight will be a little more business as usual." Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is in the lineup for the third straight game after sitting as a healthy scratch in 14 of the first 21 games. "It feels good," Oleksiak said. "The personal stuff is nice, and I'm trying to fit in and help the team win more games." Rookie defenseman Julius Honka will play in his third straight game after getting recalled from the AHL. Antti Niemi will start in goal.

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Brandon Sutter

Markus Granlund -- Michael Chaput -- Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Alexandre Burrows

Jack Skille -- Brendan Gaunce -- Jayson Megna

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Luca Sbisa -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

Scratches: Alex Biega, Joseph Labate

Injuries: Derek Dorsett (shoulder), Jannik Hansen (rib), Anton Rodin (knee), Christopher Tanev (lower body), Philip Larsen (illness)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Patrick Eaves

Patrick Sharp -- Cody Eakin -- Jason Spezza

Antoine Roussel -- Radek Faksa -- Brett Ritchie

Lauri Korpikoski -- Devin Shore -- Adam Cracknell

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Julius Honka

Jamie Oleksiak -- Jordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratches: Patrik Nemeth, Curtis McKenzie

Injuries: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jiri Hudler (illness)

 

Status report

Larsen skated Friday but won't play. Desjardins said he could return Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. ... The Stars assigned defenseman Stephen Johns to the AHL after he was a healthy scratch in back-to-back games.

 

Who's hot

Eaves has eight points and six goals in his past seven games. ... Miller has a 3-2-0 record, 1.98 goals against average, and .931 save percentage in games against Western Conference opponents. 

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