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Stars' Eaves may miss Game 2 vs. Blues

Dallas second-line right wing sustained lower-body injury in Game 1

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars forward Patrick Eaves is questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round against the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports) because of a lower-body injury.

Eaves, who had two goals and three assists in the first-round win against the Minnesota Wild, was injured with about five minutes remaining in the third period of the 2-1 win in Game 1 on Friday, when a slap shot by teammate Stephen Johns from the right point struck Eaves in the right leg.

He left the ice on his own and went to the Dallas locker room. He did not practice Saturday and was seen walking on crutches.

"Nothing serious, just a real bad shot he took to the leg and should be just day-to-day," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Saturday. "I know it always looks serious, but it's all part of the recouping process."

Eaves had been skating at right wing on Dallas' second line, with rookie left wing Mattias Janmark and center Jason Spezza.

If Eaves can't play Game 2, Valeri Nichushkin, a healthy scratch the past two games, could take his place.

Nichushkin, the Stars' first-round pick (No. 10) in the 2013 NHL Draft, had no points in five games in the first round against the Wild.

Video: NJD@DAL: Nichushkin opens the scoring on pretty move

Despite a lack of offensive production, Ruff said he has no reservations about putting Nichushkin back in the lineup.

"I think every time he steps on the ice he works as hard as he possibly can," Ruff said. "He's been responsible. I think there's always some frustration with not producing. I think if he can get by that frustration he'll be fine."

Dallas recalled forwards Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie from Texas of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Texas was eliminated from the AHL playoffs Friday.

McKenzie had a minus-1 rating and three shots on goal in three NHL games this season, and 31 assists and 55 points in 61 AHL games. Ritchie had one assist in eight games with Dallas and 14 goals and 28 points in 35 AHL games.

In their Game 1 win against the Blues, each Stars goal came off a rebound, the type of goals that result from players being around the net and not being afraid to grind and do the dirty work to either score or set up a teammate.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who made 41 saves in Game 1 and is 4-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in five Stanley Cup Playoff games, said getting goals like those is a good sign going forward.

"They're the goals that usually at this time of the year happen," he said. "Nothing pretty, just throw the puck at the net and get rebounds. That's what we need to keep doing, is get a lot of guys in front of the net and then get chances that way."

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