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Brett Ritchie out tonight as Stars close road trip at Winnipeg

With the forward nursing an upper-body injury, Dallas will dress 12 forwards against the Jets

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars have another injury at forward as they close out their road trip tonight against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Brett Ritchie is sidelined with an upper-body injury.

The Stars already knew they would be without Martin Hanzal, who suffered a lower-body injury in Friday's game against Calgary and will miss his second straight game. The development with Ritchie unfolded today when the Stars revealed they had sent him back to Dallas with the injury that has him listed as day-to-day.

The Stars had already recalled forward Jason Dickinson from the Texas Stars of the AHL on Wednesday, so they have 12 healthy forwards for tonight's game. Dickinson will get a good opportunity in his season debut with Dallas. 

"[Dickinson] will play left wing and some center today and he'll play on the second unit power play, so he's going to get lots of exposure," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Obviously, he's playing really well [in the AHL]. He had a great training camp. We'll see if he keeps up the pace when he went down. He's one of those guys, just like [Remi] Elie, who based on performance didn't deserve to go down, but based on numbers we had to do it."

Dickinson was off to a great start with the Texas Stars, scoring six goals in the first nine games of the season. He is tops on Texas in goal scoring and tied for fourth in the league. He's played 11 games in the NHL over the past two seasons and has scored three goals.

Video: Dickinson ready to face Jets in Winnipeg

"I am pretty excited to be back," Dickinson said. "I feel like I've been playing pretty consistently and it's going to be a big step for me to carry it into the game tonight and keep it the way I've been playing in Austin. My role is to just keep doing what I am doing, don't try to step outside my boundaries and stay within my game."

The Stars held an optional skate this morning, so no line rushes or defense pairings. Warmups tonight will reveal what Hitchcock is thinking on that front.

Ben Bishop will get the start in goal. He's coming off an impressive 38-save performance in Monday's 2-1 win at Vancouver.

Tonight's game wraps up a five-game road trip for the Stars, who are 2-2-0 in the first four games -- including wins in the past two. They'll face a good test tonight in the Jets, who are playing very well right now.

"We play these guys two in the next three games, so this is a big series for us," Hitchcock said. "They are playing arguably the best in the Central right now, and we've got a big challenge ahead of ourselves."


Jets Watch

The Jets (6-3-2) come into tonight's game on a five-game points streak (3-0-2) and they have won their past two games, 7-1 over Pittsburgh and 2-1 over Minnesota. Connor Hellebuyck will get the start in goal for Winnipeg. He is 6-0-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and .940 save percentage.


Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets 
Where: Bell MTS Place 
When: 7:00 p.m. 
TV: FOX Sports Southwest 
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


Stars Projected Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Radek Faksa 
Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Jason Spezza 
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick 
Remi Elie - Devin Shore - Gemel Smith

Marc Methot - John Klingberg 
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn 
Esa Lindell - Stephen Johns

Ben Bishop 
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak 
Injured: Martin Hanzal (lower body), Brett Ritchie (upper body)


Jets Projected Lineup

Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler 
Nikolaj Ehlers - Bryan Little - Patrik Laine 
Brandon Tanev - Andrew Copp - Shawn Matthias 
Brendan Lemieux - Matt Hendricks - Joel Armia

Josh Morrissey - Jacob Trouba 
Toby Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien 
Dmitry Kulikov - Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck 
Steve Mason

Scratched: Marko Dano, Ben Chiarot 
Injured: Adam Lowry (upper body), Mathieu Perreault (lower body)

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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