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Friday Notes: Ruff delivers injury updates

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are close to getting some of their injured players back. Here’s a rundown of the latest updates on the team’s injury situation.

Right wing Patrick Eaves, who has missed the past 14 games with a lower-body injury, came off injured reserve Thursday afternoon. He is ready to return, but it’s not clear if he’ll play Saturday.

“He’s available to play if I decide to put him in the lineup,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

Left wing Travis Moen has missed the past 13 games with an upper-body injury, and he should be available to play soon.

“Moen is real close,” Ruff said. “I think he is any day now.”

Left wing Curtis McKenzie has missed 13 games with a hip injury. He practiced with the team Friday in Frisco.

“I think this was his first heavy duty [practice],” Ruff said. “I think he is a day or two away from full go.”

Defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka did not play Thursday against Winnipeg, and he was off the ice Friday for maintenance. The Stars are giving him some time off to get him through a lower-body issue.

“If we needed him to play, he could play,” Ruff said. “He’s got a nagging injury that we are trying to get rid of, so we are hoping a couple days off ice will help him.”

Forward Ales Hemsky was off the ice Friday as well, and Ruff called it a maintenance day. Hemsky has been battling with some hip issues as he comes back from offseason surgery. He’s had some ups and downs recently, but last night was a good one. He registered one goal and two assists in the 6-3 win over Winnipeg.

“I feel more comfortable, more relaxed and loose now. I am happy about that,” Hemsky said. “It is a work in progress. I have got to stick with it and not think about it, and just play.”

The Stars close out their homestand Saturday, taking on the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota is off to an excellent start with a 10-3-2 record. That record matches the best 15-game start in Wild franchise history.

“They are playing really well,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Tight defensively. Thomas Vanek is producing some goals for them now, scored a highlight-reel goal the other night. We are going to have to show some patience against them. Their defensive structure is really good, and they are playing well away from the puck. We are going to have to work hard to create our opportunities.”

Here was Friday’s practice lineup:

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Mattias JanmarkCody EakinJason Spezza

Colton SceviourVernon FiddlerPatrick Eaves

Antoine RousselRadek FaksaValeri Nichushkin

Travis MoenCurtis McKenzie

Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jamie OleksiakJordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Not skating:
Ales Hemsky, Jyrki Jokipakka

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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