The Dallas Stars will be without forward Antoine Roussel when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at American Airlines Center in the second game of a home-and-home series between the two teams.
"He's got the flu," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I am not sure if he is going to be ready for tomorrow (at Colorado), but he's going to be out for today. We'll see tomorrow how he feels."
With Roussel out, Remi Elie will take Roussel's spot on the line with Radek Faksa and Tyler Pitlick. Curtis McKenzie will draw into the lineup and take Elie's spot on the line with Gemel Smith and Brett Ritchie. The Stars recalled McKenzie from the Texas Stars of the AHL Saturday morning. This is the third time McKenzie has been recalled this season and the first time he'll get into a game with Dallas. McKenzie leads Texas with ten goals in 19 games.
"I feel pretty confident with where my game is right now," McKenzie said. "I have been having a lot of success down there which has been a lot of fun doing. Hopefully, I can bring that tonight and keep it rolling."
The Stars will still be without center Martin Hanzal, who missed Thursday's game due to injury. Hitchcock revealed Saturday that Hanzal is week to week with a hamstring injury.
Video: Stars look to keep rolling at home
"He feels a lot better today, but he's out a minimum of a week and then we'll re-evaluate it at that time," Hitchcock said.
The Stars are not expected to make any changes on defense. The defense pairs at this morning's skate were the same as last game. Julius Honka appears to be the scratch for a second straight game.
Ben Bishop will get the start in goal tonight. It will be the sixth straight start for Bishop, who is 5-1-0 in his last six games with a 1.94 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.
Hitchcock added that Kari Lehtonen would get the start Sunday when the Stars play at Colorado.
The Stars won the first game of the home-and-home series with the Blackhawks, prevailing 4-3 in overtime at United Center on Thursday. Hitchcock is looking for a similar effort except with fewer penalties. The Stars were shorthanded seven times in the game.
"I don't think we want to change a lot 5-on-5," Hitchcock said. "We don't want to give up the power plays we gave up the last game. Better sticks on checking and keep the 5-on-5 play. We did a lot of good things 5-on-5. I liked a lot of the parts of our game, so we are going to try to copy that."
The Stars (14-10-1) come into tonight's game with three straight wins overall and four straight at home.
Chicago will be without goaltender Corey Crawford for at least the next three games due to a lower-body injury. The Blackhawks placed Crawford on injured reserve Friday. Anton Forsberg is the expected starter tonight for Chicago. Forsberg is 1-2-2 with a 3.67 goals against average and .904 save percentage. The Blackhawks (12-9-4) are 4-1-2 in their past seven games.
Who: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 8 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 - Devin Shore
Remi Elie - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Curtis McKenzie - Gemel Smith - Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Jamie Oleksiak - Stephen Johns
Scratched: Julius Honka
Injured: Antoine Roussel (illness), Martin Hanzal (hamstring), Marc Methot (knee)
Blackhawks Projected Lineup
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Ryan Hartman - Alex DeBrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden
Duncan Keith - Cody Franson
Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
Scratched: Michal Kempny, Tanner Kero, Jordan Oesterle
Injured: Corey Crawford (lower body), Michal Rozsival (concussion)
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 at @StarsInsideEdge.