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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Reilly Smith to make NHL debut tonight

By Mark Stepneski

Reilly Smith, signed to an entry-level contract on Sunday, will make his NHL debut tonight when the Dallas Stars take on the Oilers in Edmonton. Smith is expected to start the game on the fourth line.

“I’m just trying to get my feet wet, try to bring as much energy as I can,” Smith said. “Try not to turn the puck over too much and get it deep. Just try to limit my speed and limit turnovers.”

When it was pointed out to Smith that he is a goal scorer, the 20-year-old winger had this to say.

“I am not going to pass up shots for sure,” Smith said. “If I get the opportunity I am going to use the assets I have. If that comes around that’s great, but first of all I want to make sure I am not a liability on defense.”

Smith is expected to open the game on a line with Ryan Garbutt and Tom Wandell.

“I think we just start him and see how he goes, let him get the jitters out and then let the game dictate how you use him and let his play dictate how you use him,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We have no big visions of grandeur. We want to get him in, get him accustomed and see how he goes."

Radek Dvorak (ankle), Erik Nystrom (leg) and Mark Fistric (abdominal strain) are all out tonight. Dvorak and Nystrom are day-to-day and are doubtful for Friday.  Fistric is not expected to play on the road trip.

Here’s the projected Dallas lineup for tonight.

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Benn-Burish
Morrow-Fiddler-Vincour
Garbutt-Wandell-Smith

Souray-Robidas
Pardy-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen

Lehtonen