Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin will be among 12 Dallas Stars who will see their first preseason action tonight as the team plays the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
With 12 new players in the lineup, that means there are eight players getting a second straight game. That group consists of Ales Hemsky, Ryan Garbutt, Erik Cole, Kevin Connauton, Jamie Oleksiak, Jyrki Jokipakka, Travis Morin and Curtis McKenzie.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff was asked about how Wednesday’s lineup was put together.
“We’re just trying to give everybody that deserves a look an opportunity to play,” Ruff said. “There will be guys that will play a little bit more, that we feel need the added time. From game to game we will make that decision.”
Goaltenders Jussi Rynnas and Jack Campbell are expected to play half the game Wednesday. Rynnas, who spent last season in Finland, last played in a NHL game in February 2013 when was with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ruff has liked what he has seen out of Rynnas, who was signed as a free agent in July.
“He’s been good. I thought the scrimmages in Fort Worth he played well,” Ruff said. “I thought the three guys with a little more NHL experience were the better guys in Fort Worth. In Rynnas’ case, I was impressed with the way he played.”
Former Stars goaltender Dan Ellis is expected to get the start in goal for the Panthers.
*Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin (groin) practiced again Wednesday and is getting close to getting into a preseason game. So is defenseman Trevor Daley, who has been bothered by a sore hip.
“Val with a couple of practices should be ready for Friday (at Tampa Bay). Same with Trevor,” Ruff said. “Val has missed more practice time, so we want to get him a couple of good practices and hopefully he is ready to go.”
*Forward Brett Ritchie (finger) was not wearing the red no-contact jersey during Wednesday’s practice and is getting close to playing in a preseason game as well.
“Ritchie is close,” said Ruff. “He is doing more and more. That is a case of being comfortable. It’s a matter of days. He might even be a Friday guy, too.”
*The Stars are being careful with forward Colton Sceviour (shoulder) and defenseman John Klingberg (hip), who both had offseason surgery. Both players are expected see preseason games.
“They are both going to play preseason games. It’s just us being a little bit more cautious with them,” Ruff said. “With Sceviour, I held him out of the scrimmage in Fort Worth. He feels great, he wants to play. I just think we had some time and another week for him can be advantageous. In Klingberg’s case, he was doing real good, but he is a little bit sore from all of the work all of a sudden. We are just trying to do a little precautionary medicine on him.”
*Defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who suffered an ear laceration after getting hit in the head with a puck in Sunday’s intra-squad scrimmage, was back on the ice for Wednesday’s practice.
“It’s nothing. I got hit by one, but it just knocked some sense into me.”
-Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who was hit by a puck in Wednesday’s practice
Who: Dallas Stars at Florida Panthers
Where BB&T Center
When: 6:30 p.m.
Radio: 560 WQAM (Miami)
Video stream: TBD
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Patrick Eaves
Gemel Smith – Justin Dowling – Ales Hemsky
Erik Cole – Radek Faksa – Matej Stransky
Alex Goligoski – Kevin Connauton
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jamie Oleksiak
Cameron Gaunce – Maxime Fortunus
Panthers projected lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau – Nick Bjugstad – Scottie Upshall
Sean Bergenheim – Dave Bolland – Jimmy Hayes
Brandon Pirri – Vincent Trocheck – Jayce Hawryluk
Quinton Howden – Brett Olson – Rocco Grimaldi
Shane O’Brien – Alexander Petrovic
Dylan Olsen – Dmitry Kulikov
Colby Robak – MacKenzie Weegar
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.