Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn missed a second straight day of practice Tuesday and will miss Wednesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens with a foot injury.
"The only update I can give you is that he is still day to day, but he won't play tomorrow," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after Tuesday's practice in Frisco. "He didn't practice today, and we are still treating it as day to day."
Benn was injured late in the second period of Saturday's 3-1 loss to Florida at American Airlines Center. The stick of Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk got caught in the skate of Benn, who went down awkwardly behind the Florida net. Benn went to the front of the net as Patrick Eaves scored, but then headed to the bench in obvious discomfort. He didn't miss a shift and played the rest of the game.
Benn will miss a regular season game for the first time since April 2014 when he was given the season finale off with the Stars already having locked up a playoff spot. The last time he's missed a regular season game with injury was March 2013, when he sat out two games with a wrist issue.
Benn has played through injuries, including two bad hips when he won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer in 2014-15. He's had surgery the past two offseasons but has not missed any regular season playing time.
Benn said Monday he was hoping to play Wednesday, but the Stars are going to keep him out of the lineup this time.
"This is a situation where it is our responsibility to keep him out," Ruff said. "He could probably play but where he would be in a couple days would be a big concern of ours."
Video: Benn out, Roussel probable against Canadiens
With Benn not practicing, Patrick Sharp moved into Benn's spot on the top line with Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin. Ruff said others will have to fill the void with Benn out of the lineup.
"It's been a year of just trying to grind it out. We are going to have to find ways to win games," Ruff said. "There are a lot of injuries around the league, and we've been hit hard with them. Jamie is another one, and we have to plug a guy in his spot. We've got some guys that are coming back now, so somebody is going to have to pick up the slack for him."
Sharp just returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with a concussion. Antoine Roussel could be back Wednesday after missing the past four games with an upper-body injury.
"He looks like he could be a player," Ruff said. "He felt good today, better than yesterday. It's a decision he wants to make tomorrow to see how he feels after today's practice. He's a guy that is probable for us."
Roussel's last game was Dec. 20. He left the next day's practice early with the issue and has been out since. But he's been skating for the past week and has gone through two good practices this week.
"I am not sure if I am in tomorrow, but I am pretty close to a return," Roussel said. "It's just about getting some physical contact and getting there. I feel pretty good, skated pretty well. It sucks missing games, obviously. Getting back is harder when you stop playing and then have to get back get going again. It takes games, practice and it's not easy. Really hoping to come back tomorrow, if not then the next game."
Stars look to close out key stretch with win
Wednesday's game against Montreal closes out a three-game homestand and a stretch of eight of nine games at home for the Stars. The Stars saw it as a key part of the schedule as they tried to gain some ground in the standings. So far, they are 5-2-1 in the stretch and are hoping to make it 6-2-1 with a win over Montreal.
"It gets us back into the chase. We talked about it going into the month, whatever you want to call it, nine-game segment or 10-game," said Stars forward Jason Spezza. "We talked about trying to make up some ground. We have, and now we have a chance to finish with a sixth win. It'd be good for our confidence for sure."
Stars Practice Lineup
Here's how the Stars lined up in Tuesday's practice. Jamie Benn (foot) did not practice.
Patrick Sharp - Jason Spezza - Tyler Seguin
Curtis McKenzie - Radek Faksa - Brett Ritchie
Jiri Hudler - Cody Eakin - Patrick Eaves
Lauri Korpikoski/Antoine Roussel - Devin Shore - Adam Cracknell
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Stephen Johns
Johnny Oduya - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak