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Lineup remains the same for Stars against Predators

Coach Ken Hitchcock says Dallas faces a good test taking on the Preds in Nashville

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

As expected, the Dallas Stars will go with the same lineup tonight in Nashville that they used in Tuesday's 4-2 victory over Detroit at American Airlines Center.

"Same group, everybody is good," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "We liked the way we played and liked the way the line rotations were. We were very happy with the game."

Ben Bishop will start his second straight game in goal. He stopped 23 of 25 shots in Tuesday's win and has turned away 42 of 44 shots in his first two games of the season.

The Stars (1-2-0) will look to make it two wins in a row tonight. Hitchcock has liked the team's play in the first three games, except for a five-minute stretch in St. Louis when the Stars gave up three quick goals.

He felt in Tuesday's win over Detroit the Stars played to the team's identity on a more consistent basis.

Video: Stars system will be tested in Nashville

Thursday's game against the Predators will be a big test against a very good Nashville team that some believe could be the best team in the Central Division.

"We're forging that identity, and that's what we want to see," Hitchcock said. "We're going to get a real test whether we can play to our identity in this building against this team. To out energize that team and to outwork them, that's going to be a battle every shift."

Stars forward Alexander Radulov, who started his NHL career with the Predators before heading back to Russia and the KHL, was booed when he played in Nashville with Montreal last season. He's not worried if it happens again.

"When the game starts, you just tried to play the right way," Radulov said. "You can't control those things. Fans are great to everyone. They got something against me, but that's ok. I appreciate that, and at the end of the day, we're all playing for the fans. That's the bottom line."

With the Dallas lineup staying the same, Gemel Smith and Greg Pateryn are the expected healthy scratches. Dan Hamhuis will miss a second straight game due to a groin injury. He is day to day.


Predators Watch

Defenseman Roman Josi (lower body) and forward Colton Sissons (lower body) remain out for the Predators. Both are day to day. The Predators also are without defenseman Ryan Ellis who had offseason knee surgery. Pekka Rinne is the likely starter in goal for Nashville (1-2-0) which is coming off a 6-5 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.


Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Where: Bridgestone Arena
When: 7 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 - Martin Hanzal - Devin Shore
Remi Elie - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Marc Methot - Stephen Johns
Jamie Oleksiak - Julius Honka

Ben Bishop
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Gemel Smith
Injured: Dan Hamhuis (groin)


Predators Projected Lineup

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Scott Hartnell - Nick Bonino - Pontus Aberg
Craig Smith - Calle Jarnkrok - Kevin Fiala
Cody McLeod - Austin Watson - Miikka Salomaki

Alexei Emelin - P.K. Subban
Mattias Ekholm - Samuel Girard
Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne
Juuse Saros

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto
Injured: Roman Josi (lower body) Colton Sissons (lower body), Ryan Ellis (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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