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No Lineup Changes as Stars Take on Maple Leafs

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars aren’t expected to make any lineup changes as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at American Airlines Center tonight.

The forward line combinations and defense pairings at this morning’s skate were the same as those used in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Minnesota. Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice, so it looks like he’ll get the start in goal again.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff is hoping for more of what he saw in Tuesday’s victory over Minnesota, which he said was as complete a game as the Stars have played. It was just the Stars’ second win in the last 11 games and pulled them to within seven points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Stars need to follow up that win with some more wins in an attempt to gain more ground.

“We need to win a game. If we win a game it’s huge in the standings for us. It rights the ship for us a little bit more from where we’ve been at,” Ruff said. “They guys feel good about the way they played the last game, we got goaltending to go along with it, and we’d like to play a complete game again.”

Toronto comes into tonight’s game riding a six-game winning streak. Jonathan Bernier will get the start in goal for the Maple Leafs.

Jeffrey clears waivers

Stars forward Dustin Jeffrey cleared waivers Thursday morning. He’ll stay on the roster for now and then is expected to be assigned to the AHL as early as Friday.

“He needs to go down and play. That’s what we’ve discussed,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He hasn’t played enough and I think when you play a limited amount, it’s better to have those players playing. He’ll get some confidence in his game and if we need somebody, we’re right here to get him back.”

The Stars claimed Jeffrey off waivers from Pittsburgh in November. He’s played 12 games for the Dallas, registering one assist. He’s been a healthy scratch in 15 of the last 20 games and a healthy scratch a total of 19 times since joining the Stars.

Thursday’s game

Who: Toronto Maple Leafs at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Erik ColeVernon FiddlerRay Whitney
Rich PeverleyShawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Brenden DillonJordie Benn
Aaron RomeSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Nikolai Kulemin – Nazem Kadri – Joffrey Lupul
Mason Raymond – Peter Holland – Troy Bodie
Carter Ashton – Jay McClement – Colton Orr

Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Cody Franson – Tim Gleason
Jake Gardiner – Morgan Rielly

Jonathan Bernier
James Reimer

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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