DALLAS -- Center Vernon Fiddler left Dallas' game against Minnesota in the first period Friday night after he was sent into the left goal post by Wild center Mikko Koivu.
Koivu earned a roughing penalty for the hit at 3:52 of the opening period, and the Stars capitalized on the power play when Ray Whitney scored 30 seconds later.
But Fiddler did not return to the ice; he played just 1:21 before heading to the dressing room with what was termed an upper-body injury. The team said his return is questionable.
With his fourth-line center out, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan shuffled his lines considerably, putting Antoine Roussel and Tomas Vincour, who had been playing with Fiddler, on the ice in a number of different combinations.
Fiddler is one of six Stars players who have not missed a game this season. The veteran center was one of three Stars who played all 82 games in 2011-12.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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