Dallas Stars Look to Clean Up Defensive End Against Florida Panthers Wednesday (7:30pm CDT)

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A more veteran look on defense and Kari Lehtonen's first action of the season await patrons at the AAC tonight.

The Dallas Stars' Sunday night 6-5 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues was an exciting back and forth contest featuring skilled new additions in the forward ranks.

It seems Stars head coach Lindy Ruff might want to calm things down a little bit in tonight's installment.

"We'll go with a veteran defense," Ruff remarked after Tuesday's practice. "I think we are trying to instill a few new things, so we'll go with a pretty good lineup again and try to clean up the defensive end of it."

He expanded, saying three or four names that didn't see action in game one would see some tonight.

Trevor Daley-Sergei Gonchar and Patrik Nemeth-Stephane Robidas were two new pairings in practice yesterday that could see time this evening.

These things are never finally decided until the puck drops, but if you're looking for a reason to buy a ticket tonight (and then go sit wherever you want, by the way...) Ruff did tell media Tuesday that Valeri Nichushkin would play again against the Panthers.

Kari Lehtonen and Christopher Nilstorp are expected to split time in the Dallas net.

Update: Via Mark Stepneski on Twitter:

We'll get word on where Shawn Horcoff is later.

Florida went 15-27-6 last season, earning themselves the second overall pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft where they selected Alexander Barkov Jr, and are a bit of a work in progress themselves after qualifying for the 2012 NHL playoffs the season before.

Panthers information on the internet is about as hard to come by as, well, Phoenix Coyotes information on the internet, but there were some reports out of their double header with the Nashville Predators on Monday (both which were won by Florida) that some line combinations used were these...

Howden-Goc-Winchester
Upshall-Trocheck-Ortmeyer
Wilson-Shore-Boyes
Turgeon-Matsumoto-Pinizzotto

Rallo-Gomez-Butler
Kopecky-Barkov-Fleischmann
Selleck-Matthias-Crabb
Gomes-Timmins-Shaw

Kulikov-Weegar
Racine-Mottau
Robak-Gudbranson
Caruso-Urban

Jonathan Huberdeau and Ed Jovanovski have been held out of preseason games so far for precautionary reasons but either could play tonight.

They went young Monday, needing two full rosters, and played a lot of youth. The Stars could see a better lineup tonight that travels and if you pick and choose, there are actually some good names there that could comprise some challenging lines to play against.

Stanley Cup champion and former teammate of Tyler Seguin Tim Thomas has joined the Florida Panthers organization and will compete for the starting job, but head coach Kevin Dineen has said he'll give the veteran a few days to get acclimated before putting him into game action, so it's not likely he'll play tonight. Read all about Thomas' return here at USA Today.

The teams will square off a second time in San Antonio on Friday night.

It seems tonight's game is not schedule to have any television or radio coverage of any kind.

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