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Oleksiak, Pateryn in on defense for Stars tonight at Oilers

Ken Hitchcock is also juggling his forward lines as the Stars look for their second road win

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

It looks like Stars coach Ken Hitchcock is juggling his lineup -- both at forward and on defense -- for tonight's game in Edmonton.

The changes on defense were expected with Stephen Johns going out of the lineup due to a head injury suffered it Tuesday's 5-3 loss at Colorado. Both Jamie Oleksiak and Greg Pateryn will come in tonight, and Julius Honka will sit as a healthy scratch.

"We're not bringing in two rookies. We're bringing in two veterans who can help us," Hitchcock said of Oleksiak and Pateryn. "They are big bodies, they are physical players."

Oleksiak hasn't played in four of the past five games, and Pateryn has been a healthy scratch in all nine games this season.

"To me, Pateryn is the guy who deserves the most credit. His attitude has been terrific since Day 1," said Hitchcock. "I think it's going to help him when he gets in the lineup. I get a feeling when he gets in the lineup we are not going to want to take him out."

Pateryn is expected to play with Dan Hamhuis tonight.

Video: Pateryn ready for chance against Oilers

"Every game you don't play, it's definitely tough, but you find a way to stay positive and motivated," Pateryn said. "It's a long season. It's funny how the beginning of seasons usually start out like this for me and they always end up working out in the end. That's something I keep reminding myself."

Oleksiak is expected to play on the left side with Esa Lindell playing on the right, and Marc Methot will be paired with John Klingberg.

Up front, Hitchcock has done a lot of line juggling as he continues to find some offensive balance. He's moved Brett Ritchie to the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin -- a move he made during Tuesday's game -- and moved Alexander Radulov to a line with Devin Shore and Mattias Janmark. Antoine Roussel has been bumped up to a line with Martin Hanzal and Jason Spezza. Remi Elie has taken Roussel's spot on a line with Radek Faksa and Tyler Pitlick.

Ben Bishop will get the start in goal tonight. Bishop is coming off a so-so outing in Colorado where he was pulled six minutes into the second period after allowing three goals on 17 shots.

Tonight's game is the second of a five-game road trip for the Stars, who are 1-3-0 away from home this season.


Oilers Watch

The Oilers are doing some line juggling as well heading into tonight's game, moving Leon Draisaitl up to the top line with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon.

"We need some offense," Oilers head coach Todd McLellan told the media. "They're a dynamic pair. We're on home ice. We get a chance at the last change. That's it."

The Oilers (2-5-1) come into tonight's game ranked dead last in the NHL in goal scoring at 1.88 per game. They've scored two goals or fewer in six of their eight games. 

Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers 
Where: Rogers Place 
When: 8 p.m. 
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus 
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars Projected Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie 
Antoine Roussel - Martin Hanzal - Jason Spezza 
Devin Shore - Mattias Janmark - Alexander Radulov 
Remi Elie - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick

Marc Methot - John Klingberg 
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn 
Jamie Oleksiak - Esa Lindell

Ben Bishop 
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Julius Honka, Gemel Smith 
Injured: Stephen Johns (concussion-like symptoms)


Oilers Projected Lineup

Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Leon Draisaitl 
Milan Lucic - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Mark Letestu 
Drake Caggiula - Ryan Strome Zack Kassian 
Jussi Jokinen - Jujhar Khaira - Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson 
Darnell Nurse - Kris Russell 
Yohann Auvitu - Matt Benning

Cam Talbot 
Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Kailer Yamamoto, Iiro Pakarinen, Eric Gryba 
Injured: Andrej Sekera (knee)

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 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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