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Stars look to get back on track against Senators

Kari Lehtonen in goal as Stars look to end three-game slide

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars will try to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre tonight.

It's the second and final game of a two-game road trip for the Stars, who lost 3-1 at Toronto on Tuesday. They should be facing a motivated Senators team tonight. Ottawa has been outscored 10-0 in its past two games, including a 6-0 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday.

"I think, for the most part, we played a pretty strong game in Toronto. We got ourselves in trouble with a couple of five-on-three [penalty kills], and we missed a lot of opportunities," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "It's try to maintain that level of play. We're creating. I didn't think we gave up a lot and a couple of seeing eye dogs went in. It's focus on this game and know that we've got a desperate team that took a little bit of a kicking last game and is going to come out hungry tonight. We know we are going to have our hands full."

The Stars are expected to make only one change with their lineup tonight, and that will be in goal. Kari Lehtonen, who was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, is expected to get the nod. This will be the fourth start in the past five games for Lehtonen.

No changes are expected among the forwards and defenseman. Julius Honka and Curtis McKenzie are expected to be the healthy scratches. There were no line rushes this morning, so warm-ups will tell the tale if there will be any changes in the line combinations.

The Stars (21-23-10) come into tonight's game seven points out of a playoff spot. Ruff said the Stars have to fight through the frustration of where they are and just keep plugging away.

"Stay in the moment," Ruff said. "Focus on this game, don't worry about yesterday and don't worry about what's going to happen tomorrow. We've got some players that are obviously frustrated. We have a lot of games where we felt if we had finished we would deserved a lot better. We've found ways to lose games, and it's hurt us the most."

Senators Watch

Mike Condon will start in goal for the Senators tonight. Condon is 15-9-5 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. The Senators (27-18-6) have been shut out in their past two games, a 4-0 loss to Buffalo Saturday and then a 6-0 loss to St. Louis Tuesday. The Senators are expected to go with eleven forwards and seven defensemen in tonight's game.

Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Ottawa Senators
Where: Canadian Tire Centre
When: 6:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars Projected Lineup

Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Patrick Eaves
Jiri Hudler - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie
Devin Shore - Radek Faksa - Patrick Sharp
Antoine Roussel - Adam Cracknell - Curtis McKenzie

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Stephen Johns

Kari Lehtonen
Antti Niemi

Scratched: Julius Honka, Curtis McKenzie
Injured: Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Jason Spezza (upper body), Johnny Oduya (ankle), Ales Hemsky (hip), Mattias Janmark (knee)

Senators Projected Lineup

Zack Smith - Derick Brassard - Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan
Mike Hoffman - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Tom Pyatt
Tommy Wingels - Chris Kelly

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Chris Wideman/Fredrik Claesson

Mike Condon
Andrew Hammond

Scratched: Chris Neil, Curtis Lazar, Craig Anderson
Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion)

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on 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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