While the Stars' defense corps has been relatively healthy so far this season, that will change tonight. Jyrki Jokipakka, who earned a starting spot on the roster out of training camp by beating out Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak, is dealing with an injury per Mike Heika. He will be out of the lineup tonight. This opens up the door for Oleksiak to get back into the lineup, with Nemeth down with Texas on a conditioning assignment.
Expected lineup for the Central Division tilt is anticipated to be the following based on morning skate lines and pairings:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark - Cody Eakin - Jason Spezza
Colton Sceviour - Vernon Fiddler - Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Jason Demers
Jamie Oleksiak - Jordie Benn
(That's a lot of "J" on the defense.)
Patrick Eaves, Travis Moen and Curtis McKenzie all skated on a line at morning skate. With all recovering from injuries, none are expected to be in the lineup tonight but taking part in morning skate could indicate that they could be closer to returning. That will force some decisions on the roster as far as forwards are concerned, as the Stars carry eight defenseman.
Kari Lehtonen will be in net tonight, the first real time we've seen the Stars utilize one goaltender in a game and switch to the other in a non-back-to-back situation. It very well could be driving by these fun career stats:
That is a very, very different body of work there. Lehtonen gives the Stars a better chance of winning based on past performance.