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Johns ruled out for Thursday's game at Edmonton

The defenseman exited Tuesday in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return

by Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB /

EDMONTON -- The Dallas Stars will have a different look when they face the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Just how different isn't exactly clear at this point in time.

We do know that emerging defenseman Stephen Johns will not play against the Oilers after he left Tuesday's game in Denver exhibiting concussion symptoms after a collision with Matt Duchene at 12:09 of the first period.

Head coach Ken Hitchcock initially said Johns was "doubtful" for Thursday, but then amended that to say that Johns would not play against Edmonton. His status for the Stars' game in Calgary on Friday night is unknown.

Video: Hitch gives an update on the off day

There are also a number of other players who are banged up following a physical game against Colorado won by the Avalanche 5-3, Hitchcock said. They were to be evaluated after the team landed in Edmonton.

Johns is a right-handed shot, and if Hitchcock follows his recently-stated desire to keep his defensive pairings split naturally between left and right-handed shots, then Greg Pateryn is the logical choice to come in as the only right-handed shot defenseman not in the lineup. Pateryn has not played at all this season. Meanwhile, Jamie Oleksiak would seem to be higher up the depth chart than Pateryn and has played as a left-handed shot on the right side at various times in his career in Dallas, including earlier this season.

But after the last game in which Oleksiak played, a win over Arizona on Oct. 19, Hitchcock said they weren't doing him any favors by forcing him to play on the right side and that they wouldn't do it if they could help it. Oleksiak has been scratched in four of the last five games.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. You can follow Scott on Twitter @OvertimeScottB, and listen to his Burnside Chats podcast here.

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