Coach Lindy Ruff said he’ll roll out a “pretty good” lineup when the Stars take on the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night at American Airlines Center. Kari Lehtonen is expected to get the start in goal.
Ruff said the lineup will consist primarily of the first group of players that practiced in Frisco on Wednesday afternoon. Those players were:
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Alex Chiasson, Ray Whitney, Cody Eakin, Valeri Nichushkin, Antoine Roussel, Vernon Fiddler, Erik Cole, Lane MacDermid, Ryan Garbutt, Shawn Horcoff, Rich Peverley (injured)
Defense: Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski, Brenden Dillon, Stephane Robidas, Jordie Benn, Jamie Oleksiak
Goaltenders: Kari Lehtonen, Dan Ellis
Ruff wasn’t ready to call Thursday’s game a dress rehearsal for opening night, but he said it will give him and his staff a chance to explore a few more options.
“We have a pretty good idea (of what we are going to do),” Ruff said. “You have some options. When Peverley comes back in, you’ve got options. We’ve got a couple of wingers that we’ve tried at different places and it’s been good. It’s been a good preseason. Is it a dress rehearsal? It’s a chance to look one more time at a couple of options that we haven’t tried.”
On the Stars turning it around Tuesday night after being outshot 10-1 in the first period in Colorado: “What I really like is we bounced back. Challenged a little bit to be better, clean up our game. The shots, I think, were 17-7 in the second period. The answer the players came back with was something you want to see as a coach.”
On the penalty killing work of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in the game: “I thought they were really good. Colorado had a good power play unit out there. They are excited about giving it a go. I think it is just important to give them that extra ice time and that they play in that situation.”
*Ruff said Rich Peverley, who underwent a procedure for an irregular heartbeat earlier this month, will not be ready for the season opener against Florida on October 3, but he could be ready for the second game of the season, which is October 5 vs. Washington. Peverley continues to wear the red “no contact” jersey in practice.
*Forward Brett Ritchie (lower body) is no longer wearing the red “no contact” jersey. He went through a full practice Wednesday afternoon.
*D Aaron Rome (hip surgery) continues to skate on his own. He is still at least a couple weeks away.
*The Stars hope to have a better read on the status of Trevor Daley (upper body) in a couple days.
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.