Stars' Brad Richards sitting out

Updated: February 14, 2011, 11:38 PM ET
By Mark Stepneski | ESPNDallas.com

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars center Brad Richards won't leave with the team on its upcoming three-game road trip after suffering an undisclosed injury on the final shift in Sunday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center.

Stars coach Marc Crawford said Richards will miss Tuesday's game and possibly all three games on the Western Canada trip.

"He suffered an injury on the last shift of the game on a hit in the neutral zone," Crawford said. "He's not feeling 100 percent today. Brad would like to join us but we think it is the best measure for him to stay behind and get him back to 100 percent before he rejoins the club. We're going to be cautious here and not only what is best for Brad Richards but also for the Dallas Stars."

Crawford wouldn't classify Richards' injury as upper body or lower body, only saying he was hit and was "somewhat shaken by it."

There is a possibility Richards, who is tied for the team lead with 24 goals and leads the Stars in assists (39) and points (63), could rejoin the team for the trip, which also includes a game in Calgary on Wednesday and concludes Saturday in Vancouver.

Richards adds to an already long list of injured Dallas forwards. Jamie Benn, Adam Burish, Toby Petersen, Krys Barch and Ray Sawada all are still out for the Stars.

Petersen is heading to the AHL on Monday night to play for the Texas Stars on a conditioning assignment. The Stars also placed Sawada (shoulder) on injured reserve Monday and recalled winger Francis Wathier from the Texas Stars.

Meanwhile, the Stars will also be without defenseman Nicklas Grossman for at least the next two games. He suffered a hip flexor in Sunday's game.

"We're hopeful that it settles down. If it settles down, he'll be back in the lineup," Crawford said. "We're hopeful that it settles down sooner rather than later."

This latest round of injuries come as the Stars try to snap out of a slide that has seen them go 1-4-1 since the All-Star break and 2-6-1 in their last nine games.

"There's never a good time for injuries but because the games are so demanding right now, the games are going to be intense. Injuries are part of the game," Crawford said. "From that standpoint, we know we have to play a dig in type of game. We're going to have to get good performances from players that get great opportunities to play.

"We just have to dig in right now. We have to play as tight as hockey as we possibly can to give ourselves an opportunity in these games. We have to concentrate on what we have, not on what we don't have. We still think we have a lot."

Mark Stepneski is the author of Andrew's Stars Page for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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