With two divisional games in the next 48 hours, the Dallas Stars held an optional skate this morning.
Mike Heika expects the Stars lineup to remain the same or similar to what they ran with as they rolled the Montreal Canadiens. Travis Moen appears to be the scratch in the forward group, with the lines expected to be as follows:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Valeri Nichushkin
Colton Sceviour - Vernon Fiddler - Patrick Eaves
Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth skated late and are the anticipated scratches on defense. Pairings should be what we've seen recently. It's kind of hard to nitpick at the decision to roll with what has been working for the top team in the Western conference.
Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduys - Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka - Jordie Benn
Kari Lehtonen will start in net, so we can presume we will see Antti Niemi in net tomorrow night when the Stars return to home ice to face the Chicago Blackhawks.
Fun Fact. Kari Lehtonen is 26-6-2 / 2.67 GAA / .913 SV%/ 2 SO in his last 36 road starts. Expected to start in MIN pic.twitter.com/2wGQzEpulz— Daily Faceoff (@DailyFaceoff) December 21, 2015
In a fun twist on the usual uniforms seen on the road, the Stars will be sporting their home green sweaters while the Wild wear their whites. Another note of interest: the Wild will unveil their Stadium Series alumni game jerseys during the game tonight, which seems only fitting since they're kind of appropriating the Minnesota North Stars history (which belongs to the Dallas Stars, in case everyone has forgotten that fun fact).
The Wild will play Devan Dubnyk in net tonight. They may have an injury on their blueline, forcing an emergency recall of Mike Reilly. If Reilly plays, it will be his NHL debut which means we should all prepare for his inevitable first NHL goal as well.
Puck drops at 7 PM CST.