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Jason Spezza adds to Stars' injury woes

Center questionable against Jets on Tuesday; Dallas already missing six forwards

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

MCKINNEY, Texas -- When Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff met with reporters after practice Monday he was asked for an update on the long list of injuries at forward.

"Oh god, I don't have time for that," he said.

Ruff said he's never dealt with the rash of injuries the Stars have sustained at forward. They entered the week with five injured forwards, and that list potentially grew to seven during practice Monday.

Center Jason Spezza left practice Monday because of an undisclosed injury and Ruff said he is questionable for the Stars' next game, against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (8:30 p.m., ET; FS-SW, TSN3, NHL.TV).

Ruff said Spezza was injured during a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"I don't know [how long Spezza could be out]," Ruff said. "That was a surprise for me."

Video: LAK@DAL: Spezza rips a wrister to even game in 3rd

Right wing Ales Hemsky won't play Tuesday because of a groin injury.

Hemsky made his season debut against the Blue Jackets after coming off injured reserve Saturday because of a groin injury. He had one shot on goal in 25 shifts on a line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

"Hemsky will be out," Ruff said. "Same [injury]. I don't think he was ever really ready to go. He was close, wanted to play. I think we all know Ales. When he's going, he's flying. Halfway through the game he was struggling again."

Spezza and Hemsky join an injured list that includes left wing Patrick Sharp, who is on injured reserve because of a concussion, and right wing Patrick Eaves, who is questionable after sustaining a lower-body injury against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 20. He skated by himself Saturday but didn't practice Monday. Jiri Hudler, who has been battling an illness since Oct. 15, skated on his own Monday but Ruff said he needs three or four days of practice before playing a game.

The Stars also are missing centers Cody Eakin (knee) and Mattias Janmark (knee) who began the season on injured reserve.

With Hemsky out and Spezza questionable, the Stars likely will call up another player from Texas of the American Hockey League. They've used 25 players in their first five games, with the latest, center Gemel Smith, making his debut Saturday.

Dallas has lost two straight (0-1-1), and Ruff said his team was outskated in losses to Los Angeles and Columbus.

"It doesn't help the situation, but we can't let that be an excuse," Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis said of the injuries. "We should be all familiar with how we need to play and we need to execute that."

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