The Dallas Stars head into tonight’s game battling some illness issues, and among those affected is center Tyler Seguin.
“There are three guys that are fighting a little bit of the flu. And Tyler's one of them," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We got a couple other guys that skated that are fighting it. Even our play-by-play guy [Ralph Strangis] is down and out too. That's when you know it's really hitting you hard."
Seguin didn’t skate this morning, but Ruff said there is still a chance he could play tonight.
“There is a possibility, for sure,” Ruff said. “He didn’t feel well enough to skate this morning. The other two guys opted to skate. They were feeling better. We’ll see when he gets here.”
With Seguin not on the ice this morning, Shawn Horcoff moved up to the top line with Jamie Benn and Brett Ritchie. If Seguin can’t go, Benn likely would center the line.
“There’s a chance I could put Jamie in the middle,” Ruff said. “I think that would be the better option for me.”
Kari Lehtonen is expected to get the start in goal tonight. He is coming off a solid 34-save effort in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers. It’s not clear who will be the scratch on defense.
The Stars wrap up a three-game road trip tonight. They are 1-1-0 in the first two games. Four out of six points would be a successful trip, but it will be a stiff test in Boston. They lost to the Bruins, 3-1, on Jan. 20. It was one of those games where the Stars played well, had an advantage in shots, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
"I thought we played very well," Ruff said. "We hit a couple goal posts, we hit a crossbar, but at the end we made two big defensive mistakes that allowed them at the end of the second period to pull the game their way.
"I think if we use our speed, we're going to get the opportunities. But we have to make sure that on those good opportunities we finish. And it's been a little bit of our issue when we've lost some games. We've played very well as a team and we've lost some games that we just haven't put the puck in the back of the net, or we've made one or two key defensive plays that have really hurt us."
The Stars come into tonight’s game five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Bruins watch: Svedberg in goal tonight
Tuukka Rask will get tonight off, and Niklas Svedberg will get the start in goal against the Stars. Svedberg is 5-5-0 this season with a 2.22 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. His last NHL start was a 14-save shutout of New Jersey on Jan. 8. He’s just back from a conditioning loan to Providence of the AHL. He played four games, posting a 3-1-0 record with a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.
“He played four games. That’s what he’s there for,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He said he felt better and better every game. Our goal was to give him some games. He hadn’t played much and felt it was unfair to him and to our team to throw him in when he was out so long or hadn’t played much. It was a great opportunity for him to go there and play a lot of games.”
There are no other lineup changes for the Bruins, who have lost two of their past three games and are 3-2-0 since the All-Star break. Boston comes into tonight’s game in the second wild card spot in the East. They are six points ahead of Florida, which is in ninth place.
Who: Dallas Stars at Boston Bruins
Where: TD Garden
When: 6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Brett Ritchie
Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Patrick Eaves
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: Colton Sceviour, David Schlemko
Injured: Travis Moen (lower body), Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and Patrik Nemeth (arm)
Bruins projected lineup
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly – Carl Soderberg – Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Craig Cunningham
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg – Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller
Scratched: Jordan Caron, Matt Bartkowski
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.