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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 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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