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Rich Peverley Back at Practice Following Procedure to Correct Irregular Heartbeat

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars forward Rich Peverley was on the ice for practice Tuesday, wearing a red “no contact” jersey. It was the third time Peverley has skated since undergoing a procedure last week to correct an irregular heartbeat.

“It’s good to be not by myself and with the guys and kind of getting into a rhythm and a pace,” Peverley said after coming off the ice at the team’s practice facility in Frisco.

Last Wednesday there was a “blip” on Peverley’s EKG as he underwent his physical prior to training camp opening in Fort Worth. It was determined he had atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat. He then headed to Cleveland for the procedure, which involved shocking the heart back into rhythm.

“A couple of days last week I felt like my heart was racing,” Peverley said. “I think when people hear that it’s a heart thing they think it is life-threatening. Normal people have it, and can go through daily life. I just can’t perform at the level I want to perform.”

Peverley, whom the Stars acquired this summer from Boston in the Tyler Seguin deal, said he was comfortable with the heart situation moving forward, knowing that it shouldn’t affect his ability to play.

“I am not really worried about it. I am on medication to help me. Even if it does come back, it is not a career-threatening thing,” he said. “I could play through it and there are other things they could do to help me.”

The Stars said Peverley would be out three weeks from the time of the procedure. That would put him being ready close to the start of the season. He’s missed just a few days of skating, and hopes to be ready.

“I hope so. I don’t feel like I am behind at all with this stuff,” he said. “Games obviously will be a telling point. I think playing two months later than most guys last year (going to the Stanley Cup Final with Boston) helps me.”

Practice notes

*Stars coach Lindy Ruff said goaltender Kari Lehtonen will start Wednesday’s preseason game against Florida at American Airlines Center and play the first 30 minutes. Cristopher Nilstorp is expected to play the second half of the game.

*Asked what he was hoping to see from Lehtonen in Wednesday’s game, Ruff quipped: “A shutout.”

*On what kind of lineup he’ll roll out on Wednesday, Ruff said: ‘We’ll go with a veteran defense. I think we are trying to instill a few new things, so we’ll go with a pretty good lineup again and try to clean up the defensive end of it.”

*Among the defense pairs used in Tuesday’s practice: Trevor Daley-Sergei Gonchar; Brenden Dillon-Jamie Oleksiak; Patrik Nemeth-Stephane Robidas; Jordie Benn-Alex Goligoski.

*With close to 50 players still in training camp, the Stars practiced in two groups on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s preseason game

Who: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars

Where: American Airlines Center

When: 7:30 p.m.

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