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Lindback, Cole and Oleksiak in Tonight vs. Predators

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars will make a few lineup changes for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. Among them is that Anders Lindback will get the start in goal.

“We laid out a schedule for the goalies actually after the year was over,” Ruff said. “We have a lot of time off. I want to get Lindback in. We’ve got a road trip with a back-to-back. I want to make sure we are utilizing and keeping him ready. …. He had a good camp. He played well. I am anxious to see him go in the game.”

Tonight’s game will give Lindback, signed as a free agent this summer, an opportunity to square off against a former team. Lindback, a seventh-round pick of the Predators in 2008, spent two seasons with Nashville. He played 38 games, posting a 16-13-0 record, 2.53 goals against average and .914 save percentage while serving as a backup for Pekka Rinne.

“I hope it is added incentive,” Ruff said. “He’s excited to get going and it is important to get him going.”

Lindback has faced Nashville once before in his career, stopping 28 of 30 shots as Tampa Bay defeated the Predators, 4-2, last season.

Ruff will make two other lineup adjustments. Erik Cole will be on the second line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. Cole played there most of the preseason but was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s season opener after being late for a team practice on Monday.

“We dealt with it and it’s behind us,” said Ruff. “I am just looking forward to him playing. I want to see him play the way he did for the better part of three months in the middle of last season when he was healthy. He had a good training camp. He skated well, had some great opportunities and played well with those two guys.”

On defense, Jamie Oleksiak will be in the lineup and is expected to be paired with Patrick Nemeth.

“He had a good camp,” Ruff said. “I played him a lot in camp. I thought at the end of camp he looked a little tired. I am anxious to see if he can maintain the way he played at the start of the camp and the way he played for Texas [Stars last season]. He’s a big body, tremendous reach, good penalty killer, passes the puck well and physically can be an intimidating guy. It’s an opportunity for him to grab a game, and I want to see what he can do.”

With Oleksiak and Cole in tonight, defenseman Kevin Connauton and forward Patrick Eaves are expected to be healthy scratches.

Saturday’s game
Who: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Where: Bridgestone Arena
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Erik ColeJason SpezzaAles Hemsky
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Patrick Nemeth – Jamie Oleksiak

Anders Lindback
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: F Patrick Eaves, D Kevin Connauton

Injured: D Sergei Gonchar (ankle), Rich Peverley (heart)

Predators projected lineup

Gabriel Bourque – Mike RibeiroJames Neal
Filip Forsberg – Derek Roy –Craig Smith
Colin Wilson – Calle Jarnkrok – Olli Jokinen
Taylor Beck – Paul Gaustad – Eric Nystrom

Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Seth Jones – Anton Volchenkov
Ryan Ellis – Mattias Ekholm

Pekka Rinne
Carter Hutton

Scratched: F Richard Clune, D Victor Bartley

Injured: C Matt Cullen (upper body), LW Viktor Stalberg (lower body) and C Mike Fisher (Achilles surgery)

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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