Captain Jamie Benn missed Friday’s game with an upper-body injury. It was the third game he has missed this season.
Benn was hit hard by Vancouver defenseman Nikita Tryamkin and then got in a fight with Tryamkin. Ruff said the injury came from Benn taking a glove to the eye.
“He got scratched and he saw the eye doctor,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He got a glove in the eye, that’s all.”
Ruff said there is a good chance Benn will play Monday at home against San Jose. As for having his captain fight a player who is 6-7, 265, Ruff said he believes Benn knows how to respond on the ice.
“There’s lots of ways to get hurt. [Fighting] is still part of the game, it’s still part of the way you can create emotion in the game,” Ruff said. “I think after the cheap nhl jerseys game in Edmonton, he was out to create emotion for us.”
Teammates said Benn did help change momentum in a game the Stars won 4-2.
“We’re not going to quit. Jamie is an extreme competitor, and nobody is happy where we are,” said Jason Spezza, who’s an alternate captain. “It shows good emotion from him. We’re the leaders of this team, and we need to show emotion and give us an opportunity to win games. You don’t like to see him get hurt, but you like the emotion.”
Hudler steps in: Veteran winger Jiri Hudler stepped in for Benn and played just his 30th game. Hudler missed most of the first half of the season with a mysterious illness and has been a healthy scratch lately because his skating has not been up to par.
“It has been tough, because he’s been out so long,” Ruff said. “I think he struggled with his speed, struggled with his conditioning. I know he can make some plays in tight areas. He’s got that ability, so this is a good opportunity for him.”