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Saturday Skate Update

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he still has some decisions to make on his forward group for tonight’s game against the Sharks in San Jose.

Center Vernon Fiddler, who has missed the last six games with an upper body injury, appears ready to return to the lineup tonight. Fiddler’s return would be a boost for the Stars.

“Faceoffs and penalty killing,” Ruff said of what Fiddler would bring to the lineup. “He’s got great energy and play against a lot of the top lines. But his key role, his taking key faceoffs and the penalty killing part of it.”

Forward Ryan Garbutt, who missed yesterday’s practice, sounds as though he’ll be a game time decision.

“He’s available,” Ruff said. “We’re going to rest on it this afternoon as see where he is at.”

There are no expected changes on defense tonight. The Stars are expected to with the same set of defensemen as the last two games.

Kari Lehtonen will be in goal for the Stars. Alex Stalock will be in net for the Sharks. It will be Stalock’s first start at home this season. He is 3-1-0 with a 2.05 goals against average and .930 save percentage in six appearances.

San Jose forward Tomas Hertl, who leads all NHL rookies in goals (15) and points (25), will miss at least a month with a knee injury suffered in Thursday’s game against Los Angeles.

“There’s still some swelling in the knee and the preliminary report is he’ll be out at least a month,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. “We’ll have some more tests that will be ongoing, see what the extent is and go from there. That will take a little bit of time for that evaluation to take place.”

The Sharks held an optional skate this morning with several players not skating.

Saturday’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks

Where: SAP Center, San Jose

When: 9:30 p.m.

TV: TXA-21

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin

Antoine RousselCody EakinRay Whitney

Erik ColeRich PeverleyColton Sceviour

Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon

Jordie BennSergei Gonchar

Kevin ConnautonCameron Gaunce

Kari Lehtonen

Dan Ellis

Sharks projected lineup

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Martin Havlat - Logan Couture - Brent Burns

Tyler Kennedy - Andrew Desjardins - Tommy Wingels

James Sheppard - John McCarthy - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Brad Stuart - Jason Demers

Alex Stalock

Antti Niemi

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