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Morning Skate: Radek Faksa returns

Stars center appears ready to go as Stars play at Colorado in preseason game

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

There was some positive news on the injury front this morning in Frisco. Center Radek Faksa took part in this morning's skate and appears to be ready to go for tonight's preseason game at Colorado.

Faksa is back from playing for Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, where he was hit by Canada's Ryan Getzlaf in the tournament opener and missed his team's final two games with concussion-like symptoms. Still, the World Cup was a great experience for the 22-year-old forward.

"It was amazing. Until I got hurt, though. Until I got hit it was amazing," Faksa said. "The exhibition games were very intense, good speed. Everything was quick. It was the best players in the world playing in the tournament, so it was a great experience for me as a young guy. I won't forget it."

Faksa centered a line with Remi Elie and Matej Stransky this morning. He's coming off an excellent rookie campaign in 2015-16 with Dallas. He was a key player over the second half of the season and in the playoffs centering a line with Antoine Roussel and Ales Hemsky. He'll be a key player again this season and with Cody Eakin (knee injury) expected to miss the start of the season, Faksa could see a bigger role.

"He got better as the year went on and he got more confidence as the year went on. He finished really strong through the playoffs," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Faksa. "I know he has a history of playing on the power play, and there may be some opportunity for him there in the absence of a guy like Cody Eakin. At the same time, our penalty killing numbers were a lot better when he was in the lineup. So, there were areas of our games that were better when he played a lot of minutes for us."

Defenseman Esa Lindell, who played in one game for Finland at the World Cup, will play tonight at Colorado as well. Lindell, who played four games with Dallas last year, is battling for a spot on the NHL roster this season.

"In Lindell's case, it's an opportunity to show why he played so many minutes in the American League, and he got a look with us last year," Ruff said.

Antti Niemi and Philippe Desrosiers are expected to split time in goal.

As for tonight's game, Ruff said he is looking for a repeat of how the Stars played in their preseason opener, a 3-1 victory over St. Louis Monday night at American Airlines Center.

"I thought we played the game the right way the other night and we are looking for more of the same," Ruff said. "We are going to try to put a lot of speed in our game, keep the shifts short. I thought the pace in our game was where we needed it to be, and I thought the pace led us to having the puck."

Notes

*There was not much new on the status of center Tyler Seguin, who is out with a hairline fracture of his heel. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Seguin is close to skating.

"I don't know the exact day," Ruff said. "But he is feeling a lot better."

*RW Ales Hemsky (groin), C Devin Shore (ankle), C Jason Dickinson (hip) and C Travis Morin skated with Stars player relations coordinator Stan Tugolukov in between today's two practice sessions.

Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche
Where: Pepsi Center
When: 8:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: None

Stars projected lineup

Antoine Roussel - Mattias Janmark - Brett Ritchie
Brandon DeFazio - Justin Dowling - Denis Gurianov
Remi Elie - Radek Faksa - Matej Stransky
Curtis McKenzie - Adam Cracknell - Cole Ully

Johnny Oduya - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak
Esa Lindell - Andrew Bodnarchuk

Antti Niemi
Philippe Desrosiers

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