Derek Roy has missed the last five games with a groin injury, but he skated Sunday in a full practice at Pepsi Center in Denver and will be ready to return to the lineup Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.
Roy said the toughest thing about being out was not being around his teammates.
"It's tough not being able to help your team out, not being able to practice, not being around the guys or being part of the group," he said. "You miss it, so it's great to get back in there."
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said the team has not decided on lines, and they did not run lines during practtice. They did mostly drills. However, he said he has not thought about moving Jamie Benn to the wing and keeping Cody Eakin in the top six forward group after Eakin performed well at center.
"We haven't decided on the lines, but Eakin, Benn and Roy will all play center," Gulutzan said. "I like having Derek back. I like his speed, his ability to possess the puck, his ability to kill penalties, and his ability to take faceoffs. Just the ability to have a centerman who is over 50 percent on faceoffs, that's a great place to start."
Roy has won 53.3 percent of his draws in the first four games this season.
Roy has not yet been able to play in the same game as Benn (who missed the first five games in a contract dispute), so he said he was looking forward to getting the top two centers in the lineup together.
"He's a really good player and he moves well for a big man. He's got great hands, and I'm anxious to get out there and see what we can do," Roy said of Benn. "We have to be strong in the center position. We need to be able to control the puck, get the puck to the net, and just control the game."
The Stars had meetings and talks about reducing the amount of penalties they have taken, but they did not have a bag skate on Sunday. Gulutzan said that he and the leadership group have decided that the team will have to pay a price for taking penalties, but that the team needed to keep fresh legs for Monday's game against the Avalanche.
"We're going to skate for those penalties that we took. The guys know that," Gulutzan said. "But, you wait for the right time. It's not a skate that is going to kill them, but it's one that is going to remind them."
The Stars took seven penalties against Phoenix and now have put the other team on the power play 45 times _ most in the NHL.Gulutzan said he and the coaches have studied all of the video and believe the problem can be fixed.
Stars expected to add Derek Roy (groin) to lineup, so lines will be shuffled again
Dallas Morning News | Feb 4