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No lineup changes expected for Stars at Vegas

Stephen Johns good to go after being injured in Friday's win; Julius Honka will play in second consecutive game

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

There will be no lineup changes tonight when the Dallas Stars take on the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

Defenseman Stephen Johns will suit up tonight after leaving Friday's game in the second period with an upper-body injury. Johns practiced Monday and has been cleared to play. Johns will line up on the left side of the Dallas blue line with Julius Honka who will play for a second straight game.

The forward lines are expected to be the same as the last game, and Ben Bishop will make his fourth straight start in goal.

Jamie Oleksiak and Remi Elie are the expected healthy scratches. Marc Methot remains out with a knee injury.

Tonight's game kicks off a two-game road trip and a stretch that will see the Stars play eight of their next eleven games on the road, where they have struggled this season. They are 0-3-1 in their last four road games and 3-8-1 on the season.

Video: "It's a lot of fun for us players"

This current trip has a twist with fathers, family members, and mentors of players and staff traveling with the team. The guest list includes the fathers of 15 players. The hope is that provides a spark as the team tries to change its fortunes on the road.

"Anytime you can look for a cause, or anytime you can look for something like that to play for, that's an advantage," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "There's a lot of games in the season and if you can find special situations where you can take advantage of it emotionally, then you ought to do that because otherwise all the game start to run together."

The Stars will face a test tonight in Vegas which leads the Pacific Division, has won five straight games and is 9-1-0 at home.

"Skill, smarts, hockey sense, good players," Hitchcock said of what he sees in the Golden Knights. "Their hockey IQ is very high. They are not going to beat themselves. They are not going to go in slumps. They are for real. And I think it is up to the rest of us to catch up.

"They've got a lot of depth. If they get scored on, they score their way out of games. And if they need to shut a game down, they shut a game down. That's hockey intelligence, and that's very unique."

 

Golden Knights Watch

Malcolm Subban is expected to get the start in goal for the Golden Knights. Subban, who returned from injury last week, is 4-0-0 with a 1.88 goals against average and .935 save percentage this season. The Golden Knights (15-6-1) come into tonight's game riding a five-game winning streak, and they have won eight straight at home.

 

Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Vegas Golden Knights 
Where: T-Mobile Arena 
When: 9:00 p.m. 
TV: Fox Sports Southwest 
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

 
Stars Projected Lineup

Devin Shore - Jamie Benn - Alexander Radulov 
Mattias Janmark - Tyler Seguin - Jason Spezza 
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick 
Gemel Smith - Martin Hanzal - Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg 
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn 
Stephen Johns - Julius Honka

Ben Bishop  
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Remi Elie, Jamie Oleksiak 
Injured: Marc Methot (knee)

 

Golden Knights Projected Lineup

James Neal - Erik Haula - Oscar Lindberg 
Reilly Smith - William Karlsson - Jonathan Marchessault 
Alex Tuch - Cody Eakin - Brendan Leipsic 
Tomas Nosek - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - William Carrier

Brayden McNabb - Nate Schmidt 
Shea Theodore - Deryk Engelland 
Colin Miller - Brad Hunt

Malcolm Subban 
Maxime Lagace

Scratched: Jon Merrill 
Injured: Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), Oscar Dansk (lower body), Luca Sbisa (lower body), David Perron (upper body), William Carrier (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.

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