Stars' Cristopher Nilstorp to Start in Net Thursday Against Canucks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With Richard Bachman (and the team) struggling to keep pucks out of the net in Kari Lehtonen's absence, rookie Cristopher Nilstorp gets another chance to claim the NHL backup job.

In the last three games, without Kari Lehtonen for all of about 14 minutes, the Dallas Stars have allowed the opposition, including the visiting Vancouver Canucks tomorrow, a total of 14 goals.

So it's time for a change, and Glen Gulutzan confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Cristopher Nilstorop, newly returned from the AHL, will get his third NHL start Thursday night opposite Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo.

Nilstop was 0-2-0 on the season (.918 save percentage, 2.70 GAA) when he was injured in the third period of the January 26th home game against the St. Louis Blues, a 4-3 loss. He returns to Dallas in Lehtonen's absence after seeing Jack Campbell grab the reins for Texas at the AHL level, and has an opportunity here to re-claim the backup role.

Forward lines should be the same tomorrow night as they've been, though Trevor Daley's absence will cause a shakeup on defense.

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Jordie Benn will play with Philip Larsen tomorrow night as Daley, day-to-day with a neck issue, is not expected to return.

"I got hit the other night in Vancouver, and I had the same pain last year," Daley told media Wednesday. "It's a pinched nerve, and I can't really turn my neck right now. I got the shot for it two days ago and they said it takes three or four days for the shot to kick in, so I think I'll be ready soon."

So there's at least a chance that he could be ready for Saturday's game against the Sharks. Kari Lehtonen is working hard off the ice without setback, so the coaching staff is hopeful he'll be back soon, though Saturday may not be possible. Cross your fingers he's ready for one of the back-to-back games next Monday and Tuesday (@Nashville, @Columbus).

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