The Dallas Stars did not skate this morning in Minnesota, but coach Lindy Ruff confirmed that Jhonas Enroth will get the start in goal tonight against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. This will be Enroth’s second start for the Stars since being acquired from Buffalo earlier this month.
“Jhonas is going to play. That was our plan all along, to play him,” Ruff said.
Stars forward Ales Hemsky is a question mark for tonight due to an undisclosed injury. Hemsky just returned to the lineup after missing three games due to a lower-body issue.
“Late in the game [last night], he came off early, so we don’t even know if he is going to play,” Ruff said. “We’re going to make that a game-time decision. Hopefully, he can push through it.”
If Hemsky can’t go, then Brendan Ranford will play. The Stars recalled Ranford from Texas (AHL) this morning.
The Stars will try to bounce back after last night’s wild and frustrating 7-6 overtime loss to Detroit at American Airlines Center. The Stars are five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and four points behind Minnesota, which is currently in 10th place in the Conference. These are big points for the Stars.
“It’s huge,” said Stars forward Shawn Horcoff. “That’s it. It’s enormous for us.”
The Wild can move into the second wild card playoff spot with a win tonight over the Stars. Devan Dubnyk will get the start in goal for the Wild. He is 12-2-1 with a 1.61 goals-against average and .938 save percentage since being acquired by Minnesota last month. He is 2-6-1 with a 3.43 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage in nine games against the Stars. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon is out with an upper-body injury.
Who: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild
Where: Xcel Energy Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Erik Cole
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Brett Ritchie
Curtis McKenzie - Vernon Fiddler – Ales Hemsky
Ryan Garbutt – Shawn Horcoff – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: Brendan Ranford, David Schlemko
Injured: Tyler Seguin (knee), Patrick Eaves (concussion), Travis Moen (upper body), Valeri Nichushkin (hip)
Wild projected lineup
Nino Niederreiter – Mikko Koivu – Jason Pominville
Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Justin Fontaine
Thomas Vanek – Charlie Coyle – Jordano Schroeder
Stephane Veilleux – Kyle Brodziak – Erik Haula
Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella – Matt Dumba
Christian Folin – Nate Prosser
Scratched: Niklas Backstrom, Michael Keranen
Injured: Jared Spurgeon (upper body), Jason Zucker (clavicle), Matt Cooke (sports hernia), Ryan Carter (upper body), Keith Ballard (head)
This story was not subject to the 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.