The Stars have some question marks as far as personnel going into tonight’s game at St. Louis, and one of them is center Tyler Seguin.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff labeled Seguin’s issue as “soreness,” and said a couple other players were sick. Seguin and the others will be game-time decisions.
“We have a couple of question marks,” Ruff said. “We’ll see tonight.”
The Stars called up forward Chris Mueller from the Texas Stars Saturday morning to have an extra forward.
It was an optional skate for the Stars this morning with just a few guys on the ice. There is no word on whether Kari Lehtonen or Tim Thomas would get the start in goal, but Ruff did give some insight on how he looks at the situation.
“I’m not going to try to cover up anything, I think Tim has struggled in his last two starts, which hurt us,” Ruff said of Thomas giving up eight goals on 46 shots in losses to Winnipeg and Philadelphia. “In Kari’s case, he had been out a good period of time (more than a week with a concussion) and I don’t think he was quite ready and we’re trying to get him in a groove. The blessing in disguise is he really hasn’t played a lot. We had a couple of days off which allowed us to rest him. We only have a couple of more opportunity where we have a couple days off, and that’s when some decisions will have to be made in a real heavy schedule.”
Saturday is a key night in the playoff race. The Stars will be trying to get points out of St. Louis on the second night of a back-to-back while the Coyotes and Wild, the two teams they are chasing, square off in Phoenix. The Stars are three points behind the Coyotes and four points behind the Wild and have one game in hand on both.
This will be the fourth time the Stars have met the Blues, the top team in the Western Conference and currently battling Boston for the most points in the NHL. The last two games between the Stars and Blues have gone to overtime, including Dallas 3-2 win in St. Louis on March 11.
“We feel in this dressing room that we can play with anybody. There is nobody in this league we can’t play with,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. “[Tonight] will be a big challenge for us.”
Saturday’s game will kick off a stretch of five straight on the road for the Stars, who haven’t fared well away from home recently. They’ve dropped four straight on the road and are 1-5-1 since the Olympic break.
“I think on the road we’ve made some bigger mistakes that we’d like to clean up,” Ruff said. “And I’d like see us take advantage of some of the offensive opportunities because they have been there.”
Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal for the Blues. St. Louis’ top line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie has combined for 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) over the last two games. The Blues’ third line has former Stars Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott on the wings. In the middle is another former Star, Derek Roy.
Who: Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues
Where: Scottrade Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Ray Whitney – Dustin Jeffrey – Alex Chiasson
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Aaron Rome – Sergei Gonchar
Kari Lehtonen/Tim Thomas
Blues projected lineup
Alexander Steen – David Backes – T.J. Oshie
Patrik Berglund – Vladimir Sobotka – Jaden Schwartz
Brenden Morrow – Derek Roy – Steve Ott
Chris Porter – Maxim Lapierre – Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman – Roman Polak
Ian Cole – Kevin Shattenkirk
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.