Stars coach Lindy Ruff is expected to roll out the same lineup he used in Saturday’s win over New Jersey when the Dallas Stars take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Rogers Arena.
The Stars will be looking to build off Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Devils and put together consecutive wins for the first time since Nov. 20-25, when they won three consecutive games.
Dallas is nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and needs to get on a good run to make some ground in the race.
“I am looking at it one game at a time,” Ruff said. “It’s the same thing I said last game. After a tough loss to Winnipeg, bouncing back and getting a win and now it is take this game – win or lose – and move on. The approach is that you’ve got to be better. We still have to be better than we were the last game. We’ve set some goals for special teams and goals against, and I think you start there.”
Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice for the Stars this morning, so he is expected to get the start in goal against the Canucks. The forward line combinations and defense pairs are expected to be the same as those used in the win over the Devils.
Forward Travis Moen, who missed Saturday’s game with an upper body injury, is available to play but will be a healthy scratch. Jamie Oleksiak will be the healthy scratch on defense. Forward Ryan Garbutt is q the second game of a three-game suspension for slew-footing Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien. He will be eligible to return Sunday vs. Edmonton.
Canucks watch: Lack in goal
Eddie Lack will get the start in goal tonight for the Canucks. Lack is 2-3-2 with a 2.77 goals against average and .911 save percentage. No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller has lost four of his last five starts and has allowed 18 goals on 115 shots for a .844 save percentage. But Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said this was a scheduled start for Lack.
“I have the same confidence when they are in the net. I feel good about both of them,” Desjardins said. “If I am worried about things on the team that is way down the list. I think we have real good goaltending. I think we are giving up too good of scoring chances. I don’t think it is our goaltending.”
The Canucks come into tonight’s tilt winless in their last four games (0-3-1). They’ve been outscored 17-7 during that stretch.
Who: Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks
Where: Rogers Arena
When: 9:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Tyler Seguin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ales Hemsky
Curtis McKenzie – Travis Morin – Erik Cole
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: Travis Moen, Jamie Oleksiak
Suspended: Ryan Garbutt
Injured: Patrick Eaves (ankle), Valeri Nichushkin (hip), Patrik Nemeth (arm)
Canucks projected lineup
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Alexandre Burrows - Nick Bonino - Radim Vrbata
Shawn Matthias – Brad Richardson - Linden Vey
Chris Higgins - Bo Horvat - Derek Dorsett
Alexander Edler – Christopher Tanev
Luca Sbisa – Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Stanton – Yannick Weber
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.