Stars defenseman John Klingberg, who left Friday’s game with a lower-body injury, did not practice Saturday morning in Frisco. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Klingberg underwent some tests.
“Nothing conclusive with the tests, which is good,” Ruff said. “So, we just go day to day with him and see where he is at.”
Ruff said he did not expect Klingberg to travel with the team on its two-game road trip to Ottawa (Sunday) and Montreal (Tuesday) but didn’t rule out the defenseman joining the team.
“I don’t think [he’ll travel],” Ruff said. “But if he responds well to treatment there’s a chance – if he doesn’t travel – he could join us. He’s not traveling with us.”
Forward Patrick Eaves, who has missed the past six games due to the pneumonia, practiced again on Saturday. He will travel with the team.
Forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Jordie Benn, who both are out with lower-body injuries, will not travel with the team.
With Klingberg and Benn out on defense, the Stars still have six healthy defensemen. Ruff said a call-up will get some consideration.
“We’ll talk about that,” Ruff said. “We haven’t yet, but that will probably be a discussion.”
Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin has been a on nice run recently. He’s tallied three goals and two assists over the past six games. He ranks fourth on the team in scoring since the All-Star break with nine points (three goals, six assists) in 16 games.
Nichushkin underwent hip surgery early last season, and he said it was still taking a toll on him early this season. But that appears to be behind him now.
“I don’t think I started the season so well because I missed all of last year,” Nichushkin said. “Now I’m feeling better and better because I’ve played so many games already.”
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Nichushkin’s made big strides over the course of this season.
“Early in the year, there was a lot of frustration. He’s skating now,” Ruff said. “If you go back to early in the year, he was reacting slow, getting knocked off the puck. I think there were a few times he was surprised that someone ran him over. Now, he looks almost like his first year, where he is able to create on his own, get a step and go wide and create chances. And the other part for him is down low, he is doing a good job of hanging onto it and making plays.”
Here’s how the Stars lined up in Saturday’s practice.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Brett Ritchie
Mattias Janmark – Jason Spezza – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ales Hemsky
Radek Faksa – Vernon Fiddler – Colton SceviourTravis Moen – Patrick Eaves
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Kris Russell – Alex Goligoski
Patrik Nemeth – Jamie Oleksiak
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.