Dallas Stars forward Ray Whitney will return to the lineup tonight when the Dallas Stars take on the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center, but Jamie Benn (wrist) and Brenden Morrow (groin) are not expected to play.
“Morrow won’t be a go tonight. Benn’s unlikely to go unless something changes here,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Ray Whitney is in. Ray Whitney’s good to go.”
Whitney returns after missing 16 games with a broken foot. He went out of the lineup February 2.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a broken bone, so it’s been longer than expected,” Whitney said. “I’ve had enough of riding the bike, I’m excited to get back on the ice and see if we can’t get a good push here in the last half.”
Whitney is expected to play on a line with center Derek Roy and right wing Erik Cole. Whitney and Cole played together in Carolina.
“I understand his kind of game. What we’ve done in the past in Carolina we’ve had some success with how we played,” Whitney said. “I understand what kind of game he is. It’s not overly fancy. In the offensive sense, it’s not a real pretty game. It’s more of a north-south game. I understand that. I’m not going to put him in a position where I expect him to do something he’s not capable of and in the same sense I understand his strengths, which are his speed and his size. So we’ll try to use that as best we can.”
Benn skated this morning to check out his wrist, which he injured in Saturday’s game at Phoenix, but said he wasn’t ready to go.
“I went out there, skated around for a bit, tried to make a few passes and shoot a couple pucks. It’s just not 100 percent yet, so it looks like I won’t make the lineup tonight,” Benn said.
Morrow also skated this morning, but he’ll miss his second game with the groin issue. He is day-to-day.
Tomas Vincour, called up from the Texas Stars, will be in the lineup tonight. He will skate on a line with Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel.
It looks like Philip Larsen will be the scratch on defense.
Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars.
Stars projected lineup