Forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Jordie Benn did not practice Thursday morning, and both are going to be out a little bit with lower-body injuries.
Sharp, who left Tuesday’s game in Nashville with the injury, is expected to be out 5-7 days.
“Sharp has been battling his situation most of the year,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “Just got to a point where we’re going to treat it and going to shut him down for a few days. Hopefully, he’ll be ready once we get back from the road trip.”
Benn’s injury is the same one that has kept him out of the lineup twice already this season for a total of six games. He is expected to be out a week or two.
“It’s basically the same with a little bit of a complication,” Ruff said.
Patrick Eaves, who missed the past five games due to pneumonia, practiced with the team for first time since getting sick almost two weeks ago. Eaves said he started feeling during the Boston game, which he unable to finish.
“It’s good to see him back,” Ruff said. “It’s been a tough haul with getting a little pneumonia and trying to get that out of his system. This has been his first really good skate. I thought before he went out he was really playing well for us, so it was good to see him. Hopefully, we can get him a couple more skates. I don’t know exact timeline, it’ll just depend on where his energy’s at, where his strength is at and I would anticipate he’s got a shot for maybe somewhere on the road trip.”
With Patrick Sharp joining Patrick Eaves on the injured list, the Stars recalled Brett Ritchie from the Texas Stars. Ritchie missed the beginning of the season and a shot to make the NHL roster due to offseason wrist surgery. He’s played well since his return, notching 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in 35 games with Texas. Last season, Ritchie registered six goals and three assists in 31 games with Dallas.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff took a look at some new defense pairs in practice Thursday. He had Alex Goligoski skating on the right side with Patrik Nemeth, and Kris Russell was paired with John Klingberg. The Johnny Oduya-Jason Demers pair stayed intact. Jamie Oleksiak rotated in as the seventh defenseman.
“I think we have options now,” Ruff said. “I think what we’re looking at is some different guys playing their opposite, playing the right side. With Jordie [Benn] out, one of our top five will have to play some right defense, and Alex has been the best at it so far.”
Here were how the forwards lined up in Thursday’s practice.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Mattias Janmark – Jason Spezza – Colton Sceviour
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ales Hemsky
Radek Faksa – Vernon Fiddler – Travis Moen/Patrick Eaves
Defenseman Kris Russell, who was acquired from Calgary at the trade deadline on Monday, has already played his first game as a Dallas Star, but Thursday was his first full practice with the team. It was an eventful one for Russell, one of the game’s best shot blockers. He took a puck to the nose.
“Had a little trouble breathing, but it’s alright,” Russell said with a smile. “Just part of the business.”
Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were named to Canada’s initial roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 Wednesday. The two talked about their selection with the media on Thursday.
“It’s a great honor. When you have a chance to represent your country, guys are going to jump all over it,” said Benn. “It’s going to be an exciting tournament and a little bit different at the same time. I am definitely looking forward to it.”
Said Seguin: “Definitely a true honor anytime you represent your country. That’s a line you hear quite often, but it really is. When I got the call, I was very excited. Looking forward to it, but it’s a far time away from now and my mindset is with the Stars and the playoff push.”
The World Cup of Hockey 2016 will be held in Toronto this fall.
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 DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.