DALLAS — There was positive injury news out of the Dallas Stars morning skate on Tuesday.
Mattias Janmark skated with the team for the first time this season, an encouraging sign that he may play again after having surgery on his knee due to Osteochondritis dissecans, a genetic disease that impacts the blood flow to the joint.
Ales Hemsky is getting closer to a return and may play on Thursday, while Adam Cracknell seems to be way ahead of schedule from the original “three-to-six” week analysis of his initial injury.
“Cracknell is surprisingly doing a lot better than we thought,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I still think he’s a little ways away. He’s pushing hard to get back in early, we’re trying to make sure we get him back healthy.”
So long, Jordie
Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn addressed the trade that sent his brother Jordie Benn to the Montreal Canadiens.
“It’s tough, you never want to lose a teammate and when it’s your brother it makes it a little bit more tough,” Jamie Benn said after the Stars morning skate on Tuesday. “We all understand that it’s a business and if we had a better season going on here we wouldn’t put ourselves in this situation and we’d be bringing players in instead of losing them.”
Jamie Benn said he knows that it will be a good opportunity for Jordie Benn.
“I told him that last night,” Jamie Benn said. “Now he can be Jordie Benn and not Jamie Benn’s brother. I think this is going to be great for him, and he can move on and move forward with his career. And I’m excited to see what happens with him.”
You can read more from Jamie Benn in my NHL.com story on the trade that will be posted this afternoon.
New Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn joined the team on Tuesday, but won’t play against the Penguins after a busy travel day.
Pateryn will wear No. 29 for Dallas and he’ll practice on Wednesday before potentially playing on Thursday.
Niemi in net
Antti Niemi will start for just the third time in the past 16 games.
Niemi has has lost his past three starts and hasn’t won a game since Jan. 17 against the New York Rangers, a game that he was pulled in but still got the win.
Niemi last started, won and finished a game on Jan. 12 against the Detroit Red Wings.
Penguins projected lineup
Chris Kunitz — Sydney Crosby — Jake Guentzel
Carl Hagelin — Evgeni Malkin — Patric Hornqvist
Scott Wilson — Nick Bonino — Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl — Matt Cullen — Eric Fehr
Brian Dumoulin — Ron Hainsey
Justin Schultz — Cameron Gaunce
Ian Cole — Chad Ruhwedel
Scratched: Carter Rowney, Steve Oleksky
Injured: Kris Letang (upper-body), Bryan Rust (upper-body), Trevor Daley (lower-body), Olli Maata (hand), Conor Sheary (upper body)
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn — Cody Eakin — Brett Ritchie
Antoine Roussel — Tyler Seguin — Patrick Sharp
Lauri Korpikoski — Radek Faksa — Jason Spezza
Curtis McKenzie — Devin Shore — Jiri Hudler
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis — Jamie Oleksiak
Johnny Oduya — Stephen Johns
Scratched: Remi Elie, Patrik Nemeth, Greg Pateryn
Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Adam Cracknell (lower-body)