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Pitlick in, Methot out as Stars begin three-game road trip at Carolina

The Stars are looking to get going on the road where they are 3-5-0 this season

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars are expected to make one lineup change as they open a three-game road trip tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Forward Tyler Pitlick will play tonight after missing the past two games due to an upper-body injury. Pitlick is expected to play on a line with Jason Spezza and Martin Hanzal, taking the place of Remi Elie. Spezza will move to the left wing and Pitlick will skate on the right side with Hanzal in the middle.

The rest of the forward lines are expected to remain the same as last game including Jamie Benn centering Gemel Smith and Alexander Radulov, and Tyler Seguin in the middle of Mattias Janmark and Devin Shore. Radek Faksa is expected to center Antoine Roussel and Brett Ritchie.

There will be no changes on defense. Marc Methot remains out with a lower-body injury that sidelined him for Friday's game against the New York Islanders. Methot will miss tonight's game and Tuesday's tilt in Florida. He is back in Dallas rehabbing and if his condition improves he could join the team for Thursday's game at Tampa Bay.

Video: Stars looking to start strong on the road

Ben Bishop will get the start in goal tonight. He's coming off a 14-save shutout in Friday's 5-0 win over the Islanders. It was Bishop's first shutout as a Dallas Star.

The Stars are looking to get going on the road where they are 3-5-0 this season. Stars coach Ken Hitchcock has been pleased with the overall play on the road but believes a few bad stretches in games have cost his team points away from home.

"We've played some of our best hockey on the road, but we haven't been able to handle the surges," Hitchcock said. "We've talked about it and how to handle it. I think we are going to be more mature and in a better position to handle it, and I think we are going to be in good shape."

The Stars come into tonight's game on a good run overall. They have won eight of their last 12 games (8-4-0).


Hurricanes Watch

Scott Darling will get the start in goal for the Hurricanes tonight. He is 4-3-4 with a 2.49 goals against average and .906 save percentage. Carolina (6-5-4), which is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago on Saturday, has points in four straight games (2-0-2). The Hurricanes have been shorthanded only 32 times this season, the lowest number in the league, and their six power-play goals against are the second lowest in the league.


Tonight's Game

Who: Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes 
Where: PNC Arena 
When: 6 p.m. 
TV: FOX Sports Southwest 
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


Stars Projected Lineup

Gemel Smith - Jamie Benn - Alexander Radulov 
Mattias Janmark - Tyler Seguin - Devin Shore 
Jason Spezza - Martin Hanzal - Tyler Pitlick 
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg 
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn 
Jamie Oleksiak - Stephen Johns

Ben Bishop 
Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Jason Dickinson, Remi Elie 
Injured: Marc Methot (lower body)


Hurricanes Projected Lineup

Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen 
Brock McGinn - Derek Ryan - Justin Williams 
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm 
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Josh Jooris

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce 
Haydn Fleury - Justin Faulk 
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling 
Cam Ward

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck, Lee Stempniak, Phillip Di Giuseppe 
Injured: None

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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