The Stars close out their preseason schedule (4-0-2 so far...) tonight in Oklahoma City, home of the OKC Barons of the AHL, to take on the parent club Edmonton Oilers.
The dress rehearsal being last night, the Stars will play a "mixed" lineup this evening, to borrow Stars head coach Lindy Ruff's terminology. It's a lineup that will include local product Austin Smith, who spent most of his 2012-2013 season in the ECHL. A strong showing tonight would be a welcome start to what he hopes is a better year in Cedar Park.
Mark Stepneski reports lines from the early skate as such...
Eakin and Nichushkin continue to be worked, but rest is coming next week with the preseason ending. Brett Ritchie gets his final taste at the NHL level before embarking upon his first professional season. Colton Sceviour didn't get in the game last night and it seems they'll try their luck with him on waivers. We'll know for sure tomorrow or Sunday.
Between MacDermid, Roussel, Gazdic and Morin it could be a scrappy little night up in OKC.
So it seems Brenden Dillon draws the short straw among the veterans and will skate back to back. Oleksiak will as well and they're still trying to figure out where he'll start the season. Connauton would have to pass through waivers so it seems a better bet that he would be the one to stay, but we'll just have to wait and see. They've certainly taken a long, long look at Oleksiak.
Nemeth and Jokipakka is a pretty juicy pairing for prospect nerds, and could be a salty duo in Cedar Park.
For most of these guys it will be their last hurrah in Dallas. The assignments to the AHL club should come relatively soon and then Ruff and company can run one group and settle into a regular NHL routine this week leading up to Thursday.
Ruff said last night Dan Ellis would start in net.
The Edmonton Oiler official site has a shockingly good preview and update from their skate this morning. An excerpt...
Smyth - Hall - Hemsky
Joensuu - Arcobello - Eberle
Perron - Gordon - Yakupov
MacIntyre - Acton - Brown
Belov- J. Schultz
Smid - Petry
N. Schultz - Larsen
UP FRONT: Based on the lines the Oilers skated with on Thursday, the line of Ryan Smyth, Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky will be reunited. Jesse Joensuu will join the duo of Mark Arcobello and Jordan Eberle which was successful on Tuesday. David Perron and Nail Yakupov have had some success together this season and they will both be skating with Boyd Gordon down the middle. Steve MacIntyre makes his return to the Oilers with Will Acton in the middle and Mike Brown on the right side. [Oilers.NHL.com]
We may be able to stream tonight's game on http://www.630ched.com/ but streaming internationally can be a crapshoot. We'll see closer to game time.