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More Line Shuffling as Whitney Goes on IR

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars forward Ray Whitney is out with a lower body injury, and that meant more line juggling at Tuesday’s practice in Frisco.

Whitney, who was injured in Saturday’s game against Chicago, was placed on injured reserve retroactive to November 9, meaning he’ll miss at least the first two games of the Stars’ upcoming three-game road trip.

In Tuesday’s practice, Ryan Garbutt took Whitney’s spot on a line with center Vernon Fiddler and Rich Peverley. Antoine Roussel moved to left wing on a line with center Cody Eakin and right wing Alex Chiasson. Valeri Nichushkin remained on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

“We’ve looked at a couple of different combinations,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We tried something yesterday and we tried something today. We’ll make a decision tomorrow.

Ruff said he reserves the right to keep tinkering with the lines as he looks to find scoring balance.

“In our second line category, they’ve done some good things, but the production just hasn’t been there,” Ruff said. “We wanted to see if we could free up some guys and give some guys some different looks. I think sometimes that creates a little more offense for a team.”

Notes: Morin recalled

*With Ray Whitney going on injured reserve, the Stars recalled center Travis Morin from the Texas Stars Tuesday afternoon. Morin currently leads the AHL in scoring with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 13 games. This is the second time Dallas has recalled Morin this season. He did not play the first time.

*With the Stars playing back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday at Edmonton and Calgary, it raises the possibility the Stars could turn to backup goaltender Dan Ellis for one of the games. “It’s something we’re definitely considering,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. Kari Lehtonen has started the last nine games for the Stars. Ellis hasn’t played since October 19.

Stars’ road trip

Here’s a look at the schedule for the Stars’ upcoming road trip.

Wednesday November 13, at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Thursday November 14, at Calgary, 8 p.m.
|Sunday November 17, at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Stars practice lineup

Here’s how the Stars lined up in practice on Tuesday.

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel
Cody EakinAlex Chiasson
Ryan Garbutt
Vernon FiddlerRich Peverley
Lane MacDermid
Shawn HorcoffErik Cole

Brenden DillonStephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski
Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn
Sergei Gonchar
Aaron Rome

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

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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