After a mostly lack-lustre showing across the board in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes (talk about an emotional letdown after Monday's last-minute win over the LA Kings), the Flames move on to game ten of the regular season--with Sean Monahan.
The organization announced yesterday that the now 19-year-old rookie will be staying with the team past the nine-game limit for junior hockey players this season, and would not be returning to the Ottawa 67s. Monahan, who played 19:26 in Tuesday's loss, his second highest ice time total of the season behind Monday's game, can probably expect to see that number drop a little bit tonight, however, as Matt Stajan is expected to return to the lineup after suffering a deep leg contusion in the Flames' season opener.
Stajan's return also means that Roman Horak has been re-assigned to the Abbotsford Heat. Horak played just four minutes in his season debut for the Flames. Chris Breen, however, will play for the big club again tonight after subbing in for injured captain Mark Giordano on Tuesday. Breen's debut was a forgettable one, as he played just seven minutes against the Coyotes. Giordano remains out with an undisclosed injury, which is a huge blow to the already shallow Flames' defence corps.
The Dallas Stars (3-5-0), on the other hand, will be looking to rebound tonight after four straight losses. The Flames were 2-1 against the Stars last year, but that was without Tyler Seguin, who has four goals and 10 points in eight games for Dallas so far this season and is shooting 21.1% so far. The Flames will also get a glimpse at Valeri Nichushkin in NHL action tonight, a prospect that some fans were keen to select over Sean Monahan in this year's NHL entry draft. Nichushkin has one point in seven games thus far.
Lineup changes of note for the Stars include the return of Kari Lehtonen in net and forward Ryan Garbutt's five-game suspension for his hit on Dustin Penner.
Projected Lines and Pairings:
Tim Jackman rejoins the Flames' lineup tonight as Sven Baertschi joins Brian McGrattan in the press box, which seems like a cruel fate for anyone. Baertschi has one goal and four points in nine games so far this season and played just over 12 minutes in Tuesday's loss to the Coyotes. According to Sportsnet's Roger Millions, Baertschi was upset about the scratch, but acknowledged that he does need to be better in all three zones, specifically in his own end.