Thursday, February 2, 2017

Spezza Injured as Dallas Loses another Tough one

The Dallas Stars have been playing injured all season, so the good news about Jason Spezza's injury is that they are used to it. The bad news? The Stars' injury struggles and bad puck luck continued on Thursday as Dallas lost the game to Winnipeg in additon to losing its fourth-leading scorer for what head coach Lindy Ruff calls "more than days." The embedded video above is the hit that put Spezza out. He left the game immediately and did not return. "I don't really have an update for you," Ruff said on Spezza. "He's going to miss some time, and it's probably more than days. Until I find out more, I can give you that." Spezza has put up eight goals and 31 points in 45 games for the Stars.

Here's another look at the hit by Adam Lowry that knocked Spezza out of the game.
The Stars owned the run of play against Winnipeg, out-shooting them and out-chancing them. They had 63 shot attempts at even strength to 39 for Winnipeg, and had a tough call go against them that gave the Jets a 5-on-3 early in the second period. Mark Schiefele scored the eventual game-winner at 5:55 of the second with the two-man advantage (not long after Jamie Benn missed on a 3-on-5 breakaway), and Ruff later said that he totally disagreed with Antoine Roussel's interference penalty on Nic Petan. "I totally disagree with the call that gave them the 5-on-3," he said. "There's a battle like that on every face-off in every zone, and to go down 5-on-3, that's a tough one." The Stars fell behind 4-2 before closing to within one on Patrick Eaves 19th of the season. Eaves had never scored more than 14 goals in any of his ten previous NHL seasons. The Stars were trying to win a third consecutive game for just the third time this season. "We have to let this one go," Eaves said. "We'll learn from our mistakes today and get ready for Saturday, because we are going to have our hands full with the Hawks." The Stars drop to 21-21-10 with the loss. On the flip side, Winnipeg wins its third straight to improve to 25-25-4, just one point behind St. Louis for the final Wild Card slot in the Western Conference. The win marks Winnipeg's first three-game win streak of the season. They failed to win a third straight game on their first nine tries. Schiefele's two goals give him 25 on the season putting him four shy of his career-high total from last season. Rookie Patrik Laine added two points, giving him six in four games since returning from concussion, and Nikolaj Ehlers added his 19th, four more than his rookie total from last season.