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Jamie Benn a game-day decision for Monday

Jason Spezza doubtful after leaving Sunday's practice with back spasms

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Dallas Stars have some question marks at the forward position as they get ready to face the San Jose Sharks Monday night at American Airlines Center.

Center Jason Spezza left Sunday morning's practice in Frisco early and might not be available for Monday's game.

"He ended up with back spasms," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I would put him in the doubtful category."

Stars captain Jamie Benn, who missed Friday's game in Calgary with an eye injury, practiced Sunday morning but his status is still up in the air. Ruff did say that Benn being on the ice for practice was encouraging.

"He's a possibility. I expect it will be a decision on how he feels later today," Ruff said. "Based on practice today I would put the chances higher than [50-50] for him playing. But we'll see what tomorrow brings."

Benn was injured in Thursday's game at Vancouver when he was scratched in the eye as he fought Vancouver defenseman Nikita Tryamkin late in the second period. Benn did not return to the game after the scrap.

"I don't know if it was the thumb [of Tryamkin's glove] or whatever, but he got scratched either before the fight started or as it started," Ruff said.

If both Benn and Spezza can't play the Stars would be left with just eleven healthy forwards for Monday's game. Ruff said there are a couple of options, including calling up a forward.

"We'd need somebody [from the AHL] if both Benn and Spezza can't play," Ruff said. "Or we could dress eleven [forwards] and seven defensemen."

Sunday's practice lineup

Here's how the Stars lined up in Sunday's practice.

Jamie Benn/Jiri Hudler - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky
Remi Elie - Jason Spezza - Tyler Seguin
Devin Shore - Radek Faksa - Patrick Sharp
Curtis McKenzie - Adam Cracknell - Brett Ritchie

John Klingberg - Esa Lindell
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Patrik Nemeth - Stephen Johns
Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen
Antti Niemi

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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