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Stars expect Modano to play Thursday

Sunday, 11.30.2003 / 11:00 PM CT / News
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Stars expect Modano to play Thursday


December 1, 2003

This may be the best news the Dallas Stars have had in some time.

Dallas head coach Dave Tippett said Monday that Stars captain Mike Modano, who went down Sunday night after taking a stick to the face against Los Angeles, will be back in the lineup Thursday when the Stars face the Kings again, this time at the Staples Center.

Fortunately, the stick did not cause any eye damage despite the fact that it caught Modano right across the nose and into the eye as well.

"He'll practice tomorrow (Tuesday)," Tippett said, "and he'll be ready to go Thursday. It's a small abrasion (on the eye), he saw a specialist today and it seems fine.

"That's certainly better than the alternative."

It certainly is, especially considering the Stars have already lost one marquee player for some time to an injury to the same area. That player -- Philippe Boucher -- was placed on injured reserve Monday following the injury he received during Friday's victory against New Jersey.

That night, Boucher was hit in the face with a puck, which fractured his left orbital bone and required him to have surgery Saturday morning. Boucher will be evaluated in two weeks.

While he is out, the Stars were forced to yet again recall a defenseman from Utah. This time, it was Jeff MacMillan getting the call in Utah, and he is expected to join the team Tuesday morning at practice.

MacMillan, 24, has appeared in 21 games with the Utah Grizzlies this season, posting one goal and three assists for four points with 22 penalty minutes. He is tied for first on the team in game-winning goals (one). In two preseason contests with the Stars in 2003, MacMillan collected one assist.

"He's a big, strong guy," Tippett said of the 6-foot-3, 206-pound defenseman. "His game is strong defense and his game is being physical."

With Boucher and Teppo Numminen (fractured foot) out of the Stars' lineup, Tippett and his coaching staff will look to the veteran group of defensemen remaining -- Sergei Zubov, Richard Matvichuk and Jon Klemm -- to take the reins and lead the way for youngsters MacMillan, Trevor Daley and John Erskine.

"We've played some pretty good hockey of late," Tippett said. "Right now we need our veteran players to lead the way. Those defensemen have to step up their game and continue to work hard to keep our goals-against down."

 

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 76 28 44 -4 72
T. Seguin 66 34 35 -1 69
J. Spezza 76 16 41 -3 57
J. Klingberg 59 11 27 6 38
C. Eakin 72 17 19 -2 36
T. Daley 62 16 19 -9 35
A. Goligoski 76 4 31 0 35
A. Hemsky 70 11 21 -6 32
S. Horcoff 72 11 17 8 28
V. Fiddler 74 12 14 -6 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 34 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
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