The Dallas Stars will look to make it two straight wins over the Coyotes and three consecutive victories overall when they play the back end of a home-and-home series with the Coyotes tonight in Arizona.
The Stars won the first game of the series, 3-1, in Dallas on Tuesday night, but it was far from a work of art. The Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead but had to hold off the Coyotes over the second half of the game. The Stars improved to 3-3-0 on the season while the Coyotes remained winless at 0-5-1.
"Even though we won the game, we feel like we've got to make the adjustments," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We put those adjustments in place [Wednesday] morning with the meeting. We've got to make some adjustments in our game to get ready for what we anticipate will be another emotional game. Arizona played really hard. They are desperate, and they want to get their first win. The coach called them out (after a 6-2 loss to Boston), and the players responded."
As for tonight's lineup, Ben Bishop will make his fifth straight start in goal. Bishop is 3-1-0 with a 1.49 goals against average and .944 save percentage.
Video: Pregame: DAL at ARI
On defense, Jamie Oleksiak will be back in the lineup after being a scratch the past two games, and Julius Honka will come out after playing the past four games. The expected defense pairs are Esa Lindell-John Klingberg, Marc Methot-Oleksiak, and Dan Hamhuis-Stephen Johns.
The Stars held an optional skate this morning, so there were no line rushes. Hitchcock did say he could do some shuffling around of his right wings, except for the top line where Alexander Radulov has played every game with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
"We'll leave that line the same," Hitchcock said. "We'll see how the other lines look. We just need to get more energy down the line from that position. We'll see."
In Wednesday's practice, Devin Shore played right wing on the line with Jason Spezza and Mattias Janmark and Tyler Pitlick was on the right wing with Remi Elie and Martin Hanzal. It's not clear if that's what Hitchcock will start with tonight, or if he'll go with the lines from last game and then make adjustments.
Adin Hill will make a second straight start for the Coyotes tonight. He was solid in his NHL debut Tuesday, stopping 31 of 33 shots in the 3-1 loss to the Stars at American Airlines Center. Forward Brad Richardson, who missed Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury, remains day to day as does goaltender Antti Raanta. The Coyotes are looking for their first win of the season. Their 0-5-1 start is the worst in franchise history.
Who: Dallas Stars at Arizona Coyotes
Where: Gila River Arena
When: 9 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars Projected Lineup
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Remi Elie - Martin Hanzal - Devin Shore
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Marc Methot - Jamie Oleksiak
Dan Hamhuis - Stephen Johns
Scratched: Julius Honka, Greg Pateryn, Gemel Smith
Coyotes Projected Lineup
Max Domi - Derek Stepan - Clayton Keller
Anthony Duclair - Christian Dvorak - Christian Fischer
Lawson Crouse - Nick Cousins - Tobias Rieder
Zac Rinaldo - Mario Kempe - Jordan Martinook
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Alex Goligoski - Jason Demers
Kevin Connauton - Luke Schenn
Scratched: Adam Clendening
Injured: Brad Richardson (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (knee) and Brendan Perlini (upper 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 DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.