DALLAS — The Dallas Stars are going to have to make some key adjustments after Radek Faksa sustained a lower-body injury and will miss Tuesday’s game with the Minnesota Wild.
“It’s a big adjustment, we’ve been basically using him as our lead penalty killer,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “Now we have some adjustments to make. It’s a hole that someone else is going to have to fill.”
Devin Shore will move back to center with Faksa’s injury, while Cody Eakin will also have more responsibility on the penalty kill.
Both players have a smaller build than Faksa, and Ruff said they’ll have to be smart positionally.
“There is a strength, there is a reading into being in the right place,” Ruff said. “We’re built to be able to defend without physicality and Cody’s strength has been getting on the right side of the puck all the time … Devin is going to have to slide into the middle and do the same type of job.”
While the Stars are losing one of their best face-off men, the Wild are getting back their best with Mikko Koivu in the lineup. Koivu missed a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday with an illness.
“It’s really important because he’s so important in face-offs alone,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “If you’re matching lines at all, we’re matching his line against the best team on the other team.”
On Feb. 4 NHL goalies will have to use new pants, that are more streamlined and a bit smaller.
Both Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi have been using the new pants in practice to prepare and there have been slight adjustments.
Ruff apparently had no idea.
“I’m so far away from that, I’ve got other fish to fry than to worry about the goalies’ pants right now. I’m just being serious. I didn’t even know new pants were coming. I’m not going to bullshit you or anything. I had no clue that the goalies had new pants. I hope they’re bigger.”
Wild projected lineup
Nino Niederreiter — Eric Staal — Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker — Mikko Koivu — Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise — Eric Haula — Jason Pominville;
Chris Stewart — Tyler Graovac — Jordan Schroeder
Ryan Suter — Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella — Matt Dumba
Nate Prosser — MIke Reilly
Scratches: Christian Folin, Christoph Bertschy
Injured: Victory Bartley (arm)
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn — Cody Eakin — Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel — Jason Spezza — Tyler Seguin
Laurik Korpikoski — Devin Shore — Patrick Sharp
Curtis Mckenzie — Adam Cracknell — Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Patrik Nemeth — Stephen Johns
Dan Hamhuis — Jordie Benn
Scratched:Jiri Hudler, Julius Honka
Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Johnny Oduya (lower body), Radek Faksa (lower body)