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Stars Look to Bounce Back in Minnesota

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars coach Lindy Ruff wouldn’t discuss his starting goaltender for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild, but it appears Kari Lehtonen could get the start for a second straight night.

Lehtonen didn’t skate Saturday morning, but backup Anders Lindback was on the ice for a long time during the Stars optional skate. That’s an indication that Lindback, who has struggled in his first two starts of the season, won’t be in goal tonight.

Official word on a starting goaltender will come tonight when the Stars hit the ice to take on the Wild in St. Paul. It will be a good test for the Stars, who are winless in their last three games and are trying to bounce back after a lackluster performance in Friday’s 2-1 overtime loss to Anaheim at American Airlines Center.

There’s nothing the Stars can do about that game, so they’ll move forward and focus on the Wild, who are off to a good start at 6-3-0.

“Obviously, you’ve got to focus on that next opponent. These guys (the Wild) have been going good. So, for us, it is start with the little things. Do them right, and we go from there,” Ruff said.

The Stars’ lineup should stay pretty much the same. They have only 12 forwards on the trip, so it should be the same group again tonight. Defenseman Alex Goligoski, who took a hard hit in Friday’s game, appears to be fine. There’s the possibility that Ruff could bring in defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, who has been a scratch the past two games. But Ruff wouldn’t discuss any lineup changes, only saying that “they are always possibilities.”

Darcy Kuemper is expected to start in goal for the Wild. Kuemper is off to a good start with a 5-2-0 record, 1.71 goals against average and .927 save percentage. The Wild are expected to get a couple of key injured players back in defenseman Jonas Brodin and center Erik Haula.

Saturday’s game
Who: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennJason SpezzaTyler Seguin
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Patrick EavesVernon FiddlerAles Hemsky
Erik ColeShawn HorcoffColton Sceviour

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Kevin ConnautonJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen
Anders Lindback

Scratched: D Jyrki Jokipakka

Conditioning assignment: Valeri Nichushkin

Injured: D Sergei Gonchar (ankle), D Patrik Nemeth (arm laceration)

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Jason Pominville
Charlie Coyle – Mikko Koivu – Jason Zucker
Thomas Vanek – Kyle Brodziak – Nino Niederreiter
Justin Fontaine – Erik Haula – Stephane Veilleux

Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella – Christian Folin
Nate Prosser – Matt Dumba

Darcy Kuemper
Niklas Backstrom

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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