Every team has injuries to deal with at this point of the season. The Dallas Stars, however, are in a class by themselves.
Dallas will try to again overcome the loss of several key injured players Wednesday when it faces the Calgary Flames at the American Airlines Center.
Already missing five regulars, the Stars (27-18-1) may have lost two more players to injury in Monday's 3-1 victory over Los Angeles.
Center Jeff Halpern left pregame warm-ups with a lower body injury and did not play, and All-Star defenseman Philippe Boucher, the team's leading scorer, left late in the first period due to an upper body injury. Coach Dave Tippett said Halpern and Boucher are day-to-day.
Dallas was already missing top offensive threat Mike Modano (hip/groin), fellow forwards Brenden Morrow (wrist), Steve Ott (ankle) and Matthew Barnaby (concussion), and defenseman Sergei Zubov (elbow).
Defenseman Darryl Sydor returned to the lineup Monday after missing one game with an upper body injury. He effectively replaced Zubov, who had elbow surgery Friday and will be out through the All-Star break.
Due to all the injuries, the Stars had three rookies in their lineup Monday, including left wing Krys Barch, who made his NHL debut.
"It's kind of weird and most of them, it's to key players, too," center Mike Ribeiro said of the injuries. "Hopefully, the guys that are here, we still battle every game. Hopefully, they'll be back soon."
Stu Barnes and Niklas Hagman scored power-play goals and Marty Turco stopped 20 shots Monday as Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.
"The only way our team is going to be successful right now, with the amount of people we have out, is if we have an unbelievable, determined effort throughout the group," Tippett said. "Our execution, special teams, face-offs, things like that, is on the mark. Strong goaltending and you probably need some bounces in there."
One area where the Stars have remained successful despite the injuries is on the power play. They have 26 goals in their last nine games, and 14 have come with the man advantage.
"We're moving the puck pretty good, and everybody is chipping in from forwards to the defense, and that's what made our team better," defenseman Stephane Robidas said. "We have to make sure that when we have 5-on-4, we make those guys pay. That's what we did."
Calgary (24-16-4) had a five-game win streak stopped Monday with a 5-3 loss at Central Division-leading Nashville.
Kristian Huselius scored twice and Daymond Langkow added a goal for Calgary, which had won its first four games without leading scorer Jarome Iginla, who remains sidelined with a knee injury.
"I thought we played well enough in the first period to win that one," defenseman Rhett Warrener said. "But after that period, Nashville kept its work boots on and we took ours off. That was the difference in the game."
Huselius has picked up his play in Iginla's absence, recording four goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. He has 19 goals in 43 games this season after scoring 20 in 78 games with Florida and Calgary in 2005-06.
Miikka Kiprusoff figures to make his sixth consecutive start Wednesday. He has led the Flames to two wins in as many games against the Stars this season, stopping 56 of 59 shots.
Calgary, though, is 0-4-1 with one tie at Dallas since a 4-3 victory there Dec. 14, 2001.