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Gonchar Out, Rome in Tonight vs. Predators

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar remains out with concussion-like symptoms. Gonchar, who was injured in Saturday’s game in San Jose, will miss his second straight game when the Dallas Stars open a five-game homestand against the Nashville Predators tonight at American Airlines Center.

“Still not feeling quite right,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said about Gonchar, “so we’ve got to get him through that and when we do, he’ll start to exercise again.”

Aaron Rome, who has missed the last four games with a hip injury, will come back into the lineup tonight. Rome was injured in the Dec. 16 game in Colorado.

“I jammed up my hip and that’s my fault,” Rome said. “I tried to make a hip check and that’s probably not the best thing for me to do at this stage. I just need to stay physical, have good gap and find a different way to hit guys on the wall.”

Rome, who said he is feeling good now, has only played three games this season due to offseason hip surgeries. When he has been in the lineup, the veteran defenseman has been an effective player for the Stars.

“I liked what I saw in the games he played,” Ruff said. “I thought physically he dominated the walls and he made smart plays with the puck, kept the game simple. Obviously, with our defense core being as beat up as it is, it’ll be good to get him back in.”

The Stars appear healthy at forward. Alex Chiasson, who missed the last game due to illness, was on the ice this morning and skated on a line with Erik Cole and Rich Peverley.

Based on this morning’s line rushes, Colton Sceviour and Dustin Jeffrey could be the scratches at forward tonight.

Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice and is the expected starter. Carter Hutton will get the nod in net for Nashville.

Daley skates

Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, who has missed the last nine games with an ankle injury, skated briefly Friday morning in a track suit. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Daley still has a ways to go before returning to action.

“It’s just step one, a light skate with his injury,” Ruff said. “Tomorrow he’s going to try to maybe go a little bit harder to the next level. It’ll be a while. Yesterday he had a little bit of a skate too I guess, so today was a little bit better.”

Friday’s game

Who: Nashville Predators 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 BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Erik ColeRich PeverleyAlex Chiasson
Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerRay Whitney

Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon
Aaron RomeJordie Benn
Kevin ConnautonCameron Gaunce

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Predators projected lineup

Gabriel Bourque – Mike Fisher – Patric Hornqvist
Colin Wilson – Matt Cullen – Viktor Stalberg
Nick Spaling – David Legwand – Craig Smith
Eric Nystrom – Paul Gaustad – Matt Hendricks

Shea Weber – Roman Josi
Mattias Ekholm – Kevin Klein
Seth Jones – Ryan Ellis

Carter Hutton
Marek Mazanec

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 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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