The Dallas Stars, who entered play Friday three points behind the NHL Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks, have lost second-line centre Jason Spezza for an indefinite period with an upper-body injury.
Spezza, 32, was hit into the boards by Colorado defenceman Francois Beauchemin in the second period of Thursday night's 4-3 overtime win. The Toronto native went down face-first and Beauchemin fell on him. Spezza skated off the ice but didn't return to the game.
Spezza, who was placed on injured reserve Friday, played seven minutes 25 seconds and opened the scoring at 1:31 of the first period.
A nifty pass from Patrick Eaves turns into Jason Spezza's 40th point of the season. pic.twitter.com/nUxXGSj3R1— @DallasStars
His goal gave him 18 on the season and 40 points in 52 games. That put him on track for 63 points, one more than last season, his first in Dallas after 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators.
The six-foot-three, 220-pound forward has points in 11 of his last 15 games and had scored en every second contest since Jan. 16 for four goals in a seven-game stretch.
Dallas (33-14-5) carries a three-game win streak into Saturday's contest against the visiting Blackhawks (35-16-4), who have played three more games than the Stars.