Aaron Rome in Tonight, Ryan Garbutt a Game-time Decision

Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 2:10 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Aaron Rome in Tonight, Ryan Garbutt a Game-time Decision

Defenseman Aaron Rome will get into his first game of the season when the Dallas Stars take on the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena.

Rome hasn’t played for the Stars this season. He missed training camp, preseason and the start of the season due to offseason hip surgeries. He also had a recent muscle issue that set him back as well. He did get some playing time with the Texas Stars of the AHL, suiting up for a total of eight games in mid-October to early November.

“It looked like he was getting close, went and played some games and then got hurt in practice. It’s taken a while to get him up to speed again,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Tonight will give us a pretty good idea of what he can do for us in a defending category. He’s not a player we’re going to use on the offensive side, but penalty killing and strong defense should be his main suit.”

With Rome coming into the lineup, Kevin Connauton is expected to be the scratch on defense.

Forward Ryan Garbutt did not skate this morning. He’s a game-time decision. Garbutt apparently is still dealing with that foot/ankle injury he suffered when he was hit by a puck in the Dec. 3 game against Chicago.

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars tonight. Carter Hutton will be in net for the Predators.

Fiddler update

Stars center Vernon Fiddler skated with the team this morning, but he will miss his second straight game with an upper body injury. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said again today that Fiddler could be ready by the end of the Stars’ road trip.

“Fidds is getting better,” Ruff said. “I would think maybe by the weekend. I would think Winnipeg (Saturday) would be pushing it, but he is getting closer.”

Nystrom looking forward to matchup with Stars

Former Stars forward Eric Nystrom, who signed with Nashville as a free agent after last season, is looking forward to tonight’s matchup against his former team. It will be the first time Nystrom has faced the Stars since signing with the Predators.

“It’s always fun. I went to dinner with a bunch of the guys last night. Obviously playing against an old team for the first time is mixed emotions,” Nystrom said. “I was excited to see the guys, I am excited to play. It’s a huge game for us, we are right behind them in the standings, so there are no friends out there.”

Nystrom played two seasons with the Stars, registering 32 points (23 goals, 9 assists) in 122 games. The Stars acquired him from Minnesota.

“It was a great experience, I really enjoyed it. I was treated well and the organization was so top notch,” Nystrom said of his time in Dallas. “Gully [former Stars coach Glen Gulutzan] and Joe Nieuwendyk (former Stars GM) were huge in giving me an opportunity, and I am so grateful for them. I made some great friendships there, it was an awesome experience and I’ll never forget.”

Nystrom, who signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the Predators, has seven points (five goals, two assists) in 28 games.

Thursday’s game
Who: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Erik ColeCody EakinAlex Chiasson
Ray WhitneyShawn HorcoffRich Peverley
Antoine RousselDustin JeffreyRyan Garbutt

Alex GoligoskiBrenden Dillon
Jordie BennSergei Gonchar
Aaron RomeJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

Predators projected lineup

Eric Nystrom – Mike Fisher – Viktor Stalberg
Colin Wilson – Matt Cullen – Gabriel Bourque
Nick Spaling – David Legwand – Patric Hornqvist
Rich Clune – Paul Gaustad – Matt Hendricks

Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Victor Bartley – Kevin Klein
Seth Jones – Ryan Ellis

Carter Hutton
Marek Mazanec

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29
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