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Kari Lehtonen to start, play full game against Wild

The Stars will play a mix of veterans and youth in their final home preseason game tonight

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars will be back on the ice tonight at American Airlines Center, taking on the Minnesota Wild in their final home preseason game.

Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal and is expected to play the entire game for the Stars who are coming off a 4-2 loss to Colorado Monday night at the AAC.

Tonight's roster will include a mix of veterans, and young players pushing for roster spots.

"We are trying to get our team game in order more than anything," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "Some of the young guys we really like are going to play again. We are trying to get some of our veteran guys engaged in getting their own games in order.

"There are a lot of things about last night we really liked, and we want to build on it, and we want to continue the evaluation. On the backend, we've got three guys we want to continue to look at. Up front, we've got a combination of some guys we like and some older guys we think need more ice time."

Video: Ritchie solidifying role with Stars

Among the younger forwards getting a second straight game are Roope Hintz, Remi Elie, and Gemel Smith. Jason Dickinson didn't play Monday, but he'll be in tonight.

The Stars did not run lines or defense pairs this morning. Some of the players that were in the lineup Monday did not take part in the morning skate. Hitchcock did indicate that Jason Spezza will center Mattias Janmark and Brett Ritchie. That's been a consistent line during camp.

The defense will consist of Julius Honka, Stephen Johns, John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Jamie Oleksiak and Greg Pateryn. That's the same group as last night except for Pateryn who replaces Patrik Nemeth.

The Stars are 2-2-0 in preseason. The Wild are 3-1-0. The two teams will play again Saturday in Minnesota.


  • The Stars had hoped defenseman Marc Methot would play in tonight's game, but he is being held out after getting injured in Saturday's game against St. Louis. Methot did practice Tuesday. Center Radek Faksa, who took a shot off the finger, is being held out as well. Faksa also practiced Tuesday. "It's precautionary. If it were a hockey game, [Methot] could play right now," Hitchcock said. "With him and Faksa, we could play them both, but we've got evaluations going on with other guys. To be honest with you, it's just an excuse not to play them. We could play them right away and not have a problem, but we would rather get an evaluation on other guys."

  • Center Martin Hanzal (ankle) practiced without the red no-contact jersey Tuesday. The Stars are hoping to get him into the final preseason game on Saturday.

  • The Stars assigned forward Denis Gurianov to the Texas Stars (AHL) on Tuesday. Also, forward Brian Flynn and defenseman Brent Regner were placed on waivers with the intent to send them to the AHL.

Tonight's Game

Who: Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM/96.7-FM

Stars projected lineup

There were no lines run this morning, but here is the list of players expected to play tonight.

Forwards: Jason Dickinson, Remi Elie, Roope Hintz, Mattias Janmark, Tyler Pitlick, Alexander Radulov, Brett Ritchie, Antoine Roussel, Tyler Seguin, Devin Shore, Gemel Smith, Jason Spezza

Defense: Julius Honka, Stephen Johns, John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Jamie Oleksiak, Greg Pateryn

Goaltenders: Ben Bishop, Kari Lehtonen (starter)

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