The Dallas Stars have some injury issues as they head into tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators at American Airlines Center.
Center Radek Faksa is out with a foot injury and is listed as day to day. Defenseman Esa Lindell didn't skate this morning due to illness and is questionable for tonight. The Stars recalled forward Roope Hintz on an emergency basis from Texas (AHL) as insurance for an unidentified forward who is questionable for tonight's game.
[GAME DAY CENTRAL: What to watch for as Stars host Senators | F Hintz recalled from Texas]
"When you play every second night, and every game is as tough as it is right now, you are going to get injuries," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "You're going to have to learn to deal with it. We're lucky that we've got some flexibility. I think the biggest thing we've got is we've got a lot of guys that can play center ice. (Jason) Spezza can move up and down the lineup and be effective. He can take key faceoffs, whether it is PK or whatever and be effective. He's a real good luxury for us right now."
Spezza took Faksa's spot centering Antoine Roussel and Tyler Pitlick this morning and Brett Ritchie skated in Spezza's place on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
With Lindell questionable for tonight, there was some juggling of the defense pairs this morning, including Marc Methot playing with John Klingberg, and Stephen Johns skating with Julius Honka, who will draw back in tonight if Lindell can't play. But Hitchcock said not to read much into the pairs.
Video: Methot discusses facing former team
"Don't go to the bank on those pairs," Hitchcock said. "We're not dug in on anything there other than a couple of guys are going to play a lot of minutes tonight, so don't go on that right now."
Ben Bishop will get the start in goal tonight for the Stars. He is coming off a sharp 35-save effort in the Stars' 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis on Saturday.
Tonight's game wraps up a five-game homestand for the Stars, and it will be their first game against Ottawa, which has struggled this season but did win at Vegas over the weekend.
"A lot of us could have learned a lot of lessons from the way [the Senators] played against Vegas," Hitchcock said. "That looked like a game plan a lot of people could follow if they're going to beat Vegas. They played really well against them.
"If that is the game we are going to get, that's going to be a tough game for us."
Craig Anderson will get the start in goal tonight for the Senators. He is 18-20-5 with a 3.29 goals against average and .900 save percentage. Forward Marian Gaborik is expected to return to the lineup after missing the last two games with an undisclosed injury. The Senators (22-32-10) are 1-5-1 in their last seven games and will wrap up a four-game road trip tonight against the Stars.
Video: Duchene a familiar foe for the Stars
Who: Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars Projected Lineup
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie
Devin Shore - Mattias Janmark - Alexander Radulov
Antoine Roussel - Jason Spezza - Tyler Pitlick
Gemel Smith - Jason Dickinson - Remi Elie
Marc Methot - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Stephen Johns - Julius Honka
Injured: Radek Faksa (foot), Esa Lindell (illness), Martin Hanzal (back)
Senators Projected Lineup
Magnus Paajarvi - Matt Duchene - Mike Hoffman
Bobby Ryan - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel - Jim O'Brien - Tom Pyatt
Alexandre Burrows - Zack Smith - Marian Gaborik
Fredrik Claesson - Erik Karlsson
Ben Harpur - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Thomas Chabot
Scratched: Erik Burgdoerfer, Max McCormick
Injured: Chris Wideman (leg)
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 DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.