The Dallas Stars will look to string together consecutive wins for the first time this season when they take on the Arizona Coyotes at American Airlines Center.
Based on this morning's skate at the AAC, it doesn't appear the Stars (2-3-0) will make any lineup changes from Saturday's 3-1 over Colorado. Ben Bishop will make his fourth straight start in goal. He is 2-1-0 with a 1.62 goals against average and .938 save percentage.
Stars coach Ken Hitchcock talked about getting defenseman Jamie Oleksiak back in the lineup quickly after he sat out as a healthy scratch last game, but it doesn't appear Oleksiak will return tonight since he skated late this morning, an indication that he will not be playing.
"If he doesn't come in today then he is coming in Thursday," Hitchcock said of Oleksiak, who came out of the lineup whe Dan Hamhuis returned from injury. "Everybody else knows it on the team, so you've got to make sure you are not one of the guys the coach has his eyeballs on, to be honest with you. That's the way it is in this business. It's competition."
The defense pairs in this morning's skate were the same as last game: Marc Methot-John Klingberg; Dan Hamhuis-Stephen Johns; Esa Lindell-Julius Honka.
Video: Pregame: DAL vs ARI
The forward lines in this morning's skate were the same as Saturdays' game as well, so no expected changes there either. Gemel Smith is expected to sit out a fifth straight game as a healthy scratch.
Stars center Martin Hanzal will face off against his former team tonight, but it won't be the first time. Hanzal, who played ten seasons with the Coyotes, was traded to Minnesota last February and played his first game ever against the Coyotes in the regular-season finale.
Still, Hanzal said, it's strange playing against the team where he has played most of his NHL career.
"It's always probably going to feel weird, spending ten years there," Hanzal said. "So, every time I play against them it's probably going to feel weird. But I'll enjoy it. I'm on a great team right now, so I'll enjoy playing against them."
Tonight's game is the front end of a home-and-home series between the Stars and Coyotes. The two teams play again Thursday in Arizona.
Adin Hill will get the start in goal tonight for the Coyotes and make his NHL debut. The 21-year-old netminder has played two games in the AHL this year and has posted a 0.65 goals against average and .968 save percentage. Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Kevin Connauton will play tonight after missing the past two games with an injury. Forward Zac Rinaldo, who missed the first five games of the season due to suspension, will return tonight for the Coyotes. Arizona (0-4-1) comes into tonight's game as the only team in the league without a win this season.
Who: Arizona Coyotes at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars Projected Lineup
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Remi Elie - Martin Hanzal - Devin Shore
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Marc Methot - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Stephen Johns
Esa Lindell - Julius Honka
Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak, Greg Pateryn, Gemel Smith
Coyotes Projected Lineup
Max Domi - Derek Stepan - Tobias Rieder
Clayton Keller - Christian Dvorak - Anthony Duclair
Lawson Crouse - Nick Cousins - Christian Fischer
Zac Rinaldo - Brad Richardson - Jordan Martinook
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Kevin Connauton - Jason Demers
Alex Goligoski - Luke Schenn
Scratched: Mario Kempe, Adam Clendening
Injured: Antti Raanta (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (knee) and Brendan Perlini (upper body)
This story was not subject to 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.