Just as things were beginning to look up for the Dallas Stars, they now have another challenge to face on their road to the playoffs.
While facing off against the Florida Panthers yesterday, the Stars lost three, yes three, forwards to injury. The first came in the first period when Ales Hemsky was taken out with a lower-body injury. He is expected to be out for a while. While that was frustrating for the Stars, they managed to keep it together and bring the score to a 2-0 lead.
Things were going well for the Stars until the third period. Tyler Seguin was bringing the puck through the middle of the ice, passing it to Jamie Benn just before being taken out by Dmitri Kulikov. Kulikov went down for a hip check as Seguin was entering the Panthers’ zone, but went down too low and took Seguin out at the knees, a dirty hit that was hard to get up from. Seguin had to be helped off the ice. Kulikov was given a 5 minute major and game misconduct for clipping, and now faces a possible suspension.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for the Stars, Patrick Eaves was hit in the face with a slapshot from John Klingberg soon after, resulting to him being taken to the hospital soon after. Eaves remained on the ice for a while, but had to be helped off the ice by teammates. He has a history of concussions.
Not only are Hemsky, Seguin, and Eaves going to be out of the lineup for a while, but Antoine Roussel will be serving the second of his two-game suspension when the Stars take on the Colorado Avalanche tonight. He received the suspension after cross-checking Adam McQuaid to the throat in a game against the Boston Bruins. Keep in mind, Valeri Nichushkin has been injured all season as well.
“In my career coaching, I’ve seen where sometimes this can make you stronger,” head coach Lindy Ruff said. “It can give another guy an opportunity, and you don’t use it as an excuse. You use it as an opportunity. And it’s another guy’s opportunity. When guys have been dying for a better opportunity, here’s your opportunity, and grab it and run with it.”
The Stars certainly have their work cut out for them, moving up veteran forward Vernon Fiddler and will likely be calling up some young talent from the Texas Stars.