In their first meeting of the preseason, the Dallas Stars rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3. They then went on to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche, where they rolled out a fairly young lineup, and subsequently got thrashed 5-1.
That’s how the preseason go.
After all, the team will try out a bunch of different line combinations and mixes of talent to make roster decisions. Dallas will hop on a plane to St. Louis later today to take on the Blues squad again. The lineup for this match seems to be somewhere between the first preseason game at home (pretty stacked with NHL talent) and the second preseason game (let’s just say it was quite green — and that wasn’t just the uniform color.)
The lineup for today’s matchup in St. Louis is a mix of veterans and youngsters on the forward lines:
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Jason Dickinson - Roope Hintz - Devin Shore
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
RJ Umberger - Gemel Smith - Remi Elie
Spezza draws in for his first preseason action in a line that could be a preview of the second line Dallas could roll out this season. On Friday, head coach Ken Hitchcock talked about his four centers for the NHL season looking to be something like this:
So he’s trying Dickinson and Shore at wing to see how they look as potential placements on the roster, something he demonstrated in this lineup by placing them between pivot Hintz.
The defense is heavy on NHL veteran experience:
Marc Methot - John Klingberg
Esa Lindell - Jamie Oleksiak
Dan Hamhuis - Stephen Johns
The great part to this will be the first glimpse of a Methot-Klingberg pairing. Sadly, Stars fans won’t be able to see how they look together, as there is no TV stream for this game unless you reside in the St. Louis area and can stream it through FoxSportsGo.com. There will be a radio broadcast of the Blues announcers on blues.nhl.com - check there closer to puck drop at 7 PM CDT to listen in.
Kari Lehtonen is expected to play the full game in net, and Mike McKenna will serve as the backup tonight.
The Blues have been bitten by the injury bug early this preseason. Jay Bouwmeester fractured his ankle on Sunday in a scrimmage and is expected to miss at least 3 weeks. Forward Zach Sanford will miss five to six months after having surgery to fix a dislocated shoulder.
That’s opened up some opportunities to the Blues youth. They’ll roll out a mix of veterans and rookies, with the forwards expected to be Ivan Barbashev, Beau Bennett, Samuel Blais, Klim Kostin, MacKenzie MacEachern, Adam Musil, Magnus Paajarvi, Vladimir Sobotka, Oskar Sundqvist, Chris Thorburn, Robert Thomas, and Tage Thompson. And the defense should be assembled from this group of players: Robert Bortuzzo, Chris Butler, Carl Gunnarsson, Colton Parayko, Thomas Vannelli, and Jake Walman.