Stars-Blackhawks Morning Skate

Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 1:56 PM
Mark Stepneski

They meet again. The Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks play for the third time in 12 days – and for the fourth time in the last month – when they square off tonight at American Airlines Center.

The Stars are 1-1-1 in the season series and the Blackhawks are 2-1-0. Chicago won the first two games, which were both played in Dallas, and the Stars won 4-3 in Chicago last Tuesday despite getting outshot 50-18 in the game.

“We know each other a little bit better. They know what to expect, we know what to expect,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “The game in Chicago got a little bit out of hand for us. I thought they dominated puck possession and territorial play. I thought the games here previously we had a shot at winning, and maybe we had the edge. From both situations both teams learn. We have to make adjustments and be ready to go.”

With Vernon Fiddler (upper body) out for tonight’s game, it appears Dustin Jeffery will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Saturday.

The Stars are expected to go with the same group of defenseman as last game, meaning that Aaron Rome will be the odd man out. Colton Sceviour is expected to be a healthy scratch as well.

Kari Lehtonen was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, which indicates that he will start in goal tonight.

Antti Raanta will start for the Blackhawks, who announced Tuesday that No. 1 goaltender Corey Crawford will miss three weeks with a lower body injury.

Fiddler skates, doing better

Stars center Vernon Fiddler, who is out for tonight’s game against Chicago with an upper body injury, is making progress. He skated this morning and may be back sooner than originally thought.

“He’s doing better than we expected,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I think sometimes these things come around quicker than you anticipate. We want to keep his legs going, and I think there’s a chance later in the week that he could be back in our lineup.”

Fiddler was injured in the first period of Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.

Stars loan Austin Smith to Finland

The Stars have loaned right wing Austin Smith to Assat of the SM-Liiga in Finland. The Dallas native, a fifth round pick in the 2007 NHL draft, is in his second pro season and has played with both the Texas Stars and Idaho Steelheads.

Smith had one goal in four games with Idaho this season. He had no points in ten games with Texas.

Tuesday’s game

Who: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars

Where: American Airlines Center

When: 7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Projected Stars lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin

Ryan GarbuttCody EakinAntoine Roussel

Erik ColeShawn HorcoffAlex Chiasson/Colton Sceviour

Ray WhitneyDustin JeffreyRich Peverley

Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon

Jordie BennSergei Gonchar

Kevin ConnautonJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen (starter)

Dan Ellis

Projected Blackhawks lineup

Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa

Kris Versteeg – Michal Handzus – Patrick Kane

Brandon Saad – Andrew Shaw – Jeremy Morin

Brandon Bollig – Marcus Kruger – Ben Smith

Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy – Michael Kostka

Antti Raanta (starter)

Kent Simpson

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