As expected, Jyrki Jokipakka will return to the lineup for the Texas Stars tonight against the Toronto Marlies in his first game back since an extended look with Dallas.
Stars coach Derek Laxdal said William Wrenn will be the scratch on defense tonight. He also said Wrenn is currently battling an upper-body injury.
While Wrenn is out, Justin Dowling is a “question mark” for tonight’s game. Laxdal didn’t indicate what type of injury, but the center didn’t play in a loss to Lake Erie on Saturday and wasn’t part of line rushes during practice Wednesday morning.
Dowling being out opens the door for Gemel Smith and Taylor Peters, who will each center their own line tonight. Both are fighting for playing time and a full-time role on the fourth line.
Jussi Rynnas will be in goal tonight. He played for the Marlies from 2010 to 2013, that however didn’t factor into Laxdal’s decision.
“Our goaltending has been average at best,” Laxdal said. “We really need one of the guys to take it by the horns … I’d like to see one earn a back-to-back start soon.”
Tonight’s lineup based on morning skate:
Curtis McKenzie-Travis Morin-Brett Ritchie
Brendan Ranford-Radek Faksa-Scott Glennie
Kevin Henderson-Taylor Peters-Matej Stransky
Greg Rallo-Gemel Smith-Derek Hulak
Derek Meech-Julius Honka
John Klingberg-Jyrki Jokipakka
Maxime Fortunus-Cameron Gaunce