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Fiddler Set to Return but Daley, Hemsky and Ritchie Hurting

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars have some injury issues going into Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals. Defenseman Trevor Daley and forwards Ales Hemsky and Brett Ritchie did not practice Friday due to undisclosed injuries.

"There is a possibility all three could be out. We'll see tomorrow," Ruff said. "Hemsky is probably a player. The other two I would put in the probably not category."

Asked about details of the injuries, Ruff tried to break some new ground in describing injury issues without going into a lot of specifics.

“Well, the one guy, it’s kind of mid-body,” Ruff said. “I think the one guy, depends where he carries it, it could be lower or upper. The other guy is lower. We might as well get a little more detail. I give you guys mid-body now. One guy’s mid. One guy’s lower and one guy can be anyplace.”

The Stars are expected to get center Vernon Fiddler back for Saturday’s game. Fiddler has missed the last two games with a lower body injury.

“He’s a go,” Ruff said of Fiddler.

Ruff said he and management will see how treatments go for Daley, Ritchie and Hemsky and then decide if they need to call up anyone from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

“We’ve got Fiddler coming back in and we’ve got [David] Schlemko here obviously,” Ruff said, “but if one or two are out, we will have to have somebody there, especially with us going to Chicago [Sunday].”

Forward Patrick Eaves, who has been out since early December with an ankle injury, practiced Friday. Ruff said he expects Eaves to be ready by the first game after the All-Star break. That game will be Jan. 27 in Montreal.

Power play work

The Stars spent the first part of Friday’s practice on special teams. The power play was 0-7 in Thursday night’s 2-1 loss to Winnipeg. It is 1-24 over the past five games. For the season, it ranks 25th in the league at 14.9 percent.

Ruff discussed the state of the power play following Friday’s practice.

“Our entries have improved over last year. Even last night, the entries on a whole were good. We had one miscue that cost us (shorthanded goal against). We had real good zone time. After watching the game again, we were a little light on the ‘A’ chances,” Ruff said. “I thought we missed the net on some chances. You watch pucks go in on different power plays on wrist shots and redirections; we didn’t have much puck luck when it came to our power play last night. But we did have some point-blank opportunities that should be in the back of the net.

“I think these last three games there has been some real good zone time and the setup has been good, but the finish has been lacking.”

This story was not subject to the 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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