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Ruff Could Change Lines for Game 2

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Stars’ forward lines were juggled during this morning’s skate at Honda Center in Anaheim, but head coach Lindy Ruff wouldn’t say if that was what he’d roll out tonight against the Ducks.

“I didn’t have the lines in colors today, so I don’t know how you came to that assumption,” Ruff said. “I just did a warm up and said any three guys go. That’s true, too. I think you guys are busy chasing nothing.”

Was he contemplating changes?

“Yeah,” Ruff said.

Was he willing to share?

“No,” he said.

Ray Whitney skated on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin this morning, but he was waiting to see what happens tonight.

“These two probably have had six or seven wingers on a night,” Whitney said. “I certainly don’t expect to be there all night. I’d be surprised if that happened. But if you get the opportunity, you have a lot of fun with it.”

Ruff indicated that Alex Chiasson, who skated with Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin this morning, could be on the Benn-Seguin line at some point tonight as well.

However the lines shake out tonight and in the games ahead, Ruff said the Stars are going to need guys like Chiasson, Colton Sceviour, Valeri Nichushkin, Ryan Garbutt, Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin to step up and chip in if the Stars are going to have success against the Ducks.

"They've all had a big impact on our team," Ruff said. "For us to win this series, they're going to have to have an impact on this series, because it's going to take more than Seguin and Benn to get it done. We're depending on them to get it done. The pressure's not on them, but we need them."

It looks as if Kevin Connauton will be in on defense tonight for the Stars, making his NHL playoff debut.

“He’s got really good speed to his game,” Ruff said. “That’s something we can use in this series.”

Aaron Rome, who got the nod on the blue line in Game 1, is expected to be scratched along with forwards Chris Mueller and Dustin Jeffrey. Defenseman Brenden Dillon did not skate today and remains sidelined with a lower body injury.

Kari Lehtonen is in goal.

Ducks watch: Getzlaf in, Beleskey out

As expected, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will be in tonight despite taking a puck in the face in Wednesday night’s game and having an eventful morning as he and his wife welcomed a new daughter into the world.

Getzlaf suffered a facial laceration and received several stitches after being hit by a Tyler Seguin shot late in Wednesday’s game. Early today, Getzlaf and his wife, Paige, had a baby girl, Willa, who was born at 12:36 a.m.

Getzlaf did not skate this morning.

“He’s pretty tired today,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “He opted to take the morning off to get some rest, so I said yes."

Ducks forward Matt Beleskey, who has been playing on the top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry, won’t play due to a lower body injury. Devante Smith-Pelly will play on the top line tonight and make his NHL playoff debut.

“I know how they play, and it’s pretty simple,” Smith-Pelly said. “Those guys make the plays, and I go to the net.”

Frederik Andersen, who stopped 32 of 35 shots in Anaheim’s 4-3 win in Game 1 of the series, is expected to get the start in goal again tonight for the Ducks.

Quotable

“If you look at our lineups during the year, it is like a box of chocolates, you never know who is going to play with who.”

-Ducks forward Teemu Selanne

Tonight’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks
What: Game 2, 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
When: 9:00 p.m.
Local TV: Fox Sports Southwest
National TV: NBC Sports Network, TSN
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinRay Whitney
Antoine RousselCody EakinAlex Chiasson
Valeri NichushkinVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour
Erik ColeShawn HorcoffRyan Garbutt

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Patrik NemethJordie Benn
Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Tim Thomas

Injured: Brenden Dillon (lower body), Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat)

Scratched: Aaron Rome, Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Mueller

Ducks projected lineup

Devante Smith-Pelly – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Jakob Silfverberg – Saku Koivu – Andrew Cogliano
Patrick Maroon – Mathieu Perreault – Teemu Selanne
Daniel Winnik – Nick Bonino – Kyle Palmieri

Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Bryan Allen – Stephane Robidas

Frederik Andersen
Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Rickard Rakell, Sami Vatanen, Luca Sbisa, John Gibson

Injured: Matt Beleskey (lower body), Tim Jackman (hand)

Conditioning: Mark Fistric

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.

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