Dallas Stars

Goalie Nods: Hamburglar to make third straight start

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Ottawa sticks with Andrew Hammond

Ottawa is seven points back in the battle for a Wild Card spot with just 15 games remaining in its schedule. Under those desperate circumstances, the Senators are putting their fate in the hands of 27-year-old rookie Andrew Hammond. Given that Hammond hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his 11 appearances this season, it’s hard to fault Senators coach Dave Cameron for his desire to ride the hot hand.

The Senators will be challenged by the Philadelphia Flyers, which are coming off of a 7-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday. Steve Mason played in that contest, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see former Senators goalie Ray Emery start to provide Mason with a breather.

Elsewhere…

Panthers at Rangers: Dan Ellis will probably start for Florida while Cam Talbot has been confirmed for New York.

Canes at Blue Jackets: No word yet on Carolina, but there’s a good chance it will be Anton Khudobin after Cam Ward played Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod for Columbus.

Blues at Stars: Jake Allen will start for St. Louis. Nothing’s confirmed for Dallas, but it will likely be Kari Lehtonen.

Bruins at Capitals: Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t reveal Sunday’s starter, but Braden Holtby will probably play for Washington.

Preds at Ducks: Nothing’s confirmed, but it will likely be starters Pekka Rinne and Frederik Andersen between the pipes.

Caps injury update: Green possible vs. Stars, Beagle doubtful, Orpik out

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Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz updated the media on the laundry list of injuries currently plaguing his hockey club.

The good news is defenseman Mike Green, who suffered an upper body injury in the Caps 6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on the weekend, is a possibility tonight when Washington hosts the Dallas Stars.

Green missed the Capitals 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

“I want to be able to play, play heavy, play strong, play firm,” Green told The Washington Post. “If I can’t, then waiting one more day there where I can makes more sense. Especially this time of the season.

“I just want to be ready for that. The injury I had last game, just needs a few days and we’ll be good.”

Forward Jay Beagle, who absorbed a hit from Rangers’ defenseman Dan Girardi on Wednesday is “very doubtful” for tonight’s game according to Trotz.

Alex Prewitt reports Beagle was favoring his left shoulder following the hit.

“I think he thought with the injury he’s got, it’d be better served to shut him down right now, or [Wednesday] night, I should say, then give him a better chance to come back quicker,” Trotz said. “At the end of the day, we always think about the player first. I don’t think it’ll be too long. It’s not something that’s weeks. It won’t be too long.”

Defenseman Brooks Orpik missed his first game of the season on Wednesday after aggravating a lower body injury during practice on Tuesday. Orpik did not practice on Thursday and is not expected to play tonight.

“I expect him to probably maybe possibly skate [Friday] on his own,” said Trotz. “That’s the last thing I’ve heard. I think that’s the plan, that he’ll probably skate tomorrow. He’s not going to play.”

Dmitry Orlov, who has not played this season while recovering from wrist surgery, is expected to finally get game action soon.

The 23-year-old will likely be sent to Hershey of the American Hockey League for a conditioning assignment.

“That’s something we’re talking about with Dmitry on a more regular basis than we have in the past,” he said. “I probably would say that you could expect something in the near future.”

John Erskine skated for the first time on Thursday following neck surgery in October. The defenseman skated on his own for roughly 30 minutes, but is still experiencing pain.

Forward Michael Latta (upper body) is questionable for tonight.

Goalie nods: Sens go back to the Hamburglar

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Anderson sits, Hammond starts

After saying Craig Anderson gave his team the best chance to win prior to Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Boston, Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron flipped the script by announcing Andrew Hammond, not Anderson, would get the start for tonight’s tilt against Montreal.

Hammond — aka “The Hamburglar” — returns to the net after a two-game hiatus, looking to build on his eye-popping numbers: 7-0-1 record, .954 save percentage, 1.43 GAA and two shutouts in nine appearances. His return also comes at a crucial time for Ottawa, as the Sens blew a golden opportunity on Tuesday to close the gap on Boston’s lead in the Eastern Conference playoff chase; they head into tonight’s action seven points back of the B’s, albeit with a game in hand.

For Montreal, Carey Price will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Bolts at Bruins: Ben Bishop vs. Tuukka Rask (probable)

Oilers at Pens: Ben Scrivens vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Stars at ‘Canes: Kari Lehtonen vs. Anton Khudobin

Jets at Panthers: Michael Hutchinson vs. Dan Ellis

Jackets at Wings: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Jimmy Howard

Flyers at Blues: Steve Mason vs. Brian Elliott

Devils at Avs: Cory Schneider vs. Semyon Varlamov (probable)

Kings at Canucks: No confirmed starters for either team.

Blackhawks at Coyotes: Corey Crawford vs. Mike Smith

Preds at Sharks: (No starter for Nashville yet) vs. Antti Niemi

Report: Stars bringing Swedish d-man prospect to North America

Ludwig Bystrom, Dallas’ second-round pick (43rd overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is reportedly coming over from the Swedish League and will play with the Stars’ AHL affiliate in Texas, according to Sweden’s Varmlands Folkblad.

Bystrom, 20, spent this season with Farjestads and is one of Dallas’ brighter young prospects. He’s a former SHL All-Star and part of the Stars’ young group of Swedish and Finnish blueline projects, along with the likes of Patrick Nemeth, Jyrki Jokipakka and John Klingberg.

It’s entirely possible we see Bystrom at the NHL level this year. The Stars are all but out of playoff contention and could make a move to the future by giving some AHL Texas players a look — this year, the club has already recalled both Jokipakka and Klingberg, the latter becoming one of the NHL’s top rookie scorers among defensemen.

Stars’ Eakin might sit again after healthy scratch (disciplinary) versus Flyers

On a day where Nazem Kadri’s two-game banishment made headlines, another disciplinary issue flew under the radar — Dallas forward Cody Eakin, who was healthy scratched in Philly yesterday for what the club called a “team discipline decision.”

It was a quiet development, to say the least. The scratch barely registered a blip on the radar and, following the game, head coach Lindy Ruff didn’t offer any comment or explanation regarding what led to his decision.

On Wednesday, though, Stars Inside Edge reported the punishment might extend to Thursday’s game in Carolina:

Nobody’s quite sure what to make of this situation. Eakin has been a lineup fixture since coming over from Washington three years ago, and the healthy scratch versus Philly marked just the fifth game he’s missed during his time as a Star.

As for his ice time… well, it’s been all over the place lately. Eakin received over 20 minutes in a 4-3 shootout win over Florida last week but, two games prior, was held to one of his lowest totals of the year — just 14:31 — in a 3-1 loss to Anaheim.

Still only 23 years old, Eakin sits tied for fifth on the team in goals (with 15) and seventh in points, with 30.