The Texas Stars are going to have a different look against the Charlotte Checkers with leading scorer, and reigning AHL MVP, Travis Morin called up to Dallas.
The traditional second line of Brett Ritchie, Justin Dowling, and Scott Glennie should get first-line responsibility tonight, while Radek Faksa slid into Morin’s spot between Greg Rallo and Brendan Ranford during morning skate.
Faksa also took Morin’s usual spot on the power play when the Stars worked on special teams.
Jesse Root will move up to the third line and center Matej Stransky and Derek Hulak. Taylor Peters will center the fourth line between Branden Troock and recently-signed Taylor Stefishen.
Stefishen is a two-way forward who started the year with the Elmira Jackals. He comes from a similar mold of Derek Hulak, who also went the CIS route.
“I think I’m a two-way forward,” Stefishen said when asked for his own scouting report. “I have skill and I also have some grit and a good compete level. I’m hoping to bring that to the Texas Stars.”
Defensively Jamie Oleksiak will be in the lineup after he was sent down from Dallas on Thursday.
“I think they just saw it as a good opportunity to play and play my game a little bit,” Oleksiak said. “I’m happy to be down here and doing what I can to make the team win.”
Neither Oleksiak nor Stars coach Derek Laxdal said it officially, but it appears Oleksiak will likely play both games against Charlotte then return to Dallas before the NHL team’s road trip to Western Canada.
“He’s going to come down here and play tonight and play tomorrow. Then we’ll see where he goes from there,” Laxdal said. “He’s got to come down here and get some ice time. Keep it simple and have some fun.”
Oleksiak will be paired with Scott Valentine tonight. William Wrenn will come out of the lineup.
Anders Lindback will get the start in net, his fourth straight, even though Jack Campbell was the first goalie off the ice.
“Lindback will play tonight,” Laxdal said. “(Campbell has) been sick here for about two weeks. Once we get healthy we can start running our goalies.”
Laxdal also said Kevin Henderson is getting closer and could play tomorrow night. He also indicated that if it was a playoff game Henderson would have played this evening.
Tonight’s projected lineup:
Brett Ritchie-Justin Dowling-Scott Glennie
Greg Rallo-Radek Faksa-Brendan Ranford
Derek Hulak-Jesse Root-Matej Stransky
Branden Troock-Taylor Peters-Taylor Stefishen
Maxime Fortunus-Cameron Gaunce
Julius Honka-Derek Meech
Jamie Oleksiak-Scott Valentine