The Dallas Stars will roll out a strong lineup tonight as they take on the Florida Panthers at American Airlines Center in their next to last preseason game.
Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky and Valeri Nichushkin will be among the forwards skating for the Stars tonight.
“On both nights (Monday vs. Florida and Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay) you are going to see good lineups,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Both [Benn and Seguin] have requested to play on both nights, which is a good thing. It gets you into the back-to-back grind, and we are going to have a lot of time off afterwards. … Jason is another guy who said he wants to play both games, get used to the grind and get used to his teammates.”
Ruff said he is still contemplating how he’ll piece together his forward lines for opening night, but he’s taking a look at Nichushkin on the top line with Seguin and Benn in tonight’s tilt.
“I think you are going to see a little bit of what we saw last year, where at different times a different player will be there. But if there is some chemistry or if things are going well, there were some long periods that Val, Tyler and Jamie stayed together,” Ruff said. “You wish you had three or four more games to watch things unfold. We’ve got these two, we’ve got an intra-squad game and see how they play in that too.”
Spezza will center a line with Erik Cole on the left wing and Ales Hemsky on the right wing. Vernon Fiddler will center Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt.
Ruff said he is contemplating putting Seguin, Benn, Spezza and Hemsky on the power play together along with one defenseman to see how that looks.
Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal tonight and is expected to play the entire game. Lehtonen was expected to play a full game Friday in Tampa Bay, but was taken out after two periods with the Stars down 5-2.
“It will be an opportunity for [Lehtonen] to bounce back. He said to me, ‘Who gets pulled in a preseason game? I said, ‘Well, you did,’” Ruff said, drawing some laughs. “It was a case where it wasn’t going very well. It was less about pulling him and more about giving Jussi [Rynas] a little bit of time.”
Rynnas was expected to be the backup for tonight’s game but he is ill, so Anders Lindback will back up Lehtonen.
Notes: Glennie, Gaunce assigned to Texas
Forwards Scott Glennie and defenseman Cameron Gaunce both cleared waivers Monday and were assigned to the Texas Stars of the AHL. The Stars’ roster now stands at 32 players.
Goaltender Jussi Rynnas has been placed on waivers and is expected to be assigned to Texas if he clears.
Who: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
Video stream: Dallasstars.com (Texas only)
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie – Radek Faksa – Brett Ritchie
Kevin Connauton – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Sergei Gonchar
Jamie Oleksiak – John Klingberg
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.