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.
Who: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks
Where: SAP Center, San Jose
When: 9:30 p.m.
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ray Whitney
Erik Cole – Rich Peverley – Colton Sceviour
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Alex Chiasson
Alex Goligoski – Brenden Dillon
Jordie Benn – Sergei Gonchar
Kevin Connauton – Cameron Gaunce
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