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Bishop out for Stars vs. Wild after taking puck to face on bench

X-rays negative, the Dallas goaltender could return Monday against the Rangers

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars goaltender Ben Bishop is out for Saturday's game against the Minnesota Wild after taking a puck to the face while on the bench as a backup Thursday night in Arizona.

The good news is that Bishop is not expected to be out long, possibly just the one game.

"X-rays were negative, so that is a good sign," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "He's still swollen, so we just feel it is best. Not sure he could play tomorrow, to be honest with you."

Bishop was hit on the side of the face by a puck that went out of play in the third period of the Stars' 4-1 win over the Coyotes. He went to the locker room and never returned to the bench. Hitchcock said Bishop did not suffer a concussion.

"No, he got whacked with the puck on the side (of the face) so you are always concerned about jaw injuries or cheekbone injuries, so we had to rule all that stuff negative this morning, which we did. But it is still swollen," Hitchcock said.

Bishop is expected to skate with goaltending coach Jeff Reese Saturday morning and then join the team for practice Sunday. Hitchcock said there is a possibility that Bishop could be ready to return by Monday.

Video: Hitchcock gives update on Bishop and Roussel

With Bishop out for Saturday, Kari Lehtonen will get the start in goal against Minnesota. Lehtonen is coming off a 17-save effort in Thursday's win in Arizona. The Stars will call up a goaltender from the Texas Stars of the AHL to serve as the backup on Saturday.

Forward Antoine Roussel, who has missed the last two games with a nasal infection, took part in the team's optional practice Friday afternoon in Frisco, but his status for the Minnesota game will be determined on Saturday.

"He practiced okay, but it is how he feels two hours later and if it is all stuffed up in there," Hitchcock said. "We'll see tomorrow, but we just go through it one day at a time. He's getting better and better. I don't know if we can clear it right now until we see how he feels tomorrow morning."

Center Martin Hanzal (pulled muscle) and defenseman Marc Methot (knee) both took part in Friday's optional practice. Hanzal has missed the last four games, and Methot has played in just one game since early November.

"Both guys, to be honest with you, are really on again, off again. You get excited, and then there is a setback, then you get excited, and there is a setback," Hitchcock said. "Until we put them in a full practice they are days or a week away. Today was the first time they skated with other people, so that's a step in the right direction.

"I don't know if I can give you a firm date until they join us. We are hopeful if we practice full on Sunday that they join us, and that's kind of the schedule, but we are not there yet."


  • Hitchcock said he would go with the same six defensemen as last game meaning that Julius Honka will play a third straight game and Dillon Heatherington will sit out as a healthy scratch.

  • There will be one adjustment on the blue line. Dan Hamhuis and Greg Pateryn will be united as a pair after being split up in Thursday's game against the Coyotes."Their energy is back," Hitchcock said. "Dan was sick for a few days, and their energy was down. It was tough for both of them. They both had it back, so that is a good sign. We'll put them back together."

  • The only possible lineup change will be at forward. If Roussel is feeling well enough to play, then Hitchcock will have to decide on a healthy scratch up front.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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