The Dallas Stars are back home and kick off a five-game homestand tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. The last homestand didn’t go well. The Stars went 1-2-1. Head coach Glen Gulutzan didn’t want to talk about homestands Saturday morning.
“That’s irrelevant to us. It’s tonight, this game,” Gulutzan said. “Confident we can win on the road, just got to win this game.”
The Stars are 14-13-3 and sit in tenth place in the West, but just one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot. It’s shaping up to be a fight to the end and the Stars would like to start putting together some wins at home, where they are 3-5-1 over their last nine games and have the worst home points percentage in the Western Conference at .500 (6-6-2).
“We’d like to think back to our last homestand, not having success and not getting points,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “Those must win games, we are kind of getting to that point now. We are in our playoffs, we want home to be comfortable and a win tonight will help.”
It appears the Stars are going to roll out the same lineup as the last game. Gulutzan wasn’t saying who would be the scratch among the forwards tonight, but based on the skate in looked like Reilly Smith could be sitting again. That means Tomas Vincour would be in the lineup. Lines are expected to look the same as last game.
Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal. Richard Bachman will be the backup. He was recalled this morning from the Texas Stars and Jack Campbell was sent back to the AHL.
Injury notes: Rome getting closer
Defenseman Aaron Rome, who has missed the last 12 games with a broken foot, skated this morning and is getting closer to a return.
“He’s just a few days away from being able to go,” said Gulutzan. “Health wise, the foot is good enough to start progressing full speed on as far as healing goes. He’s 50-50 for Monday but he’ll certainly be a game player for Friday.”
Rome said he’s hoping to get in sooner than later.
“It felt good and I feel good,” Rome said. “I am just trying to get some reps in and it’s felt better every day. After being out for a few weeks you just want to get comfortable in practice and then back in as soon as you can.”
Forward Ryan Garbutt, out the last four games with a hand injury, still has a ways to go.
“He’s not on the horizon yet,” Gulutzan said. “He’s going to keep skating because he can skate but he can’t shoot or anything like that. Until he heals, he won’t be a game player. That’s an easy one.”