NEW YORK — Mike Modano's wrist injury, described by Dallas Coach Ken Hitchcock as "not overly serious" after the 4-2 victory Thursday that enabled the Stars to tie the Stanley Cup finals at one game each, may actually be a broken bone. However, in keeping with hockey's warrior mentality, Modano was expected to practice today with a cast on his left hand and may play tonight at Marine Midland Arena.
Modano, the Stars' first-line center, was injured midway through the third period Thursday on a hard but clean shoulder check by Buffalo defenseman Jay McKee. He immediately grimaced and left the ice for treatment.
ESPN, citing sources close to the team, said Modano had broken his wrist and injured his shoulder and will miss the rest of the series. The Stars' trainer, Dave Suprenant, denied Modano is out for the series, and Hitchcock on Friday described the injury as a jammed wrist and said Modano's status is day to day.
Modano draped his sports coat over his left arm as he walked to the team bus in Buffalo on Friday afternoon, but a white bandage was visible partially covering his fingers. Players sometimes play with soft casts to protect hand or arm injuries, but an immobile wrist would adversely affect Modano's shooting and his dexterity and quickness on draws.
"If he's going to play [today], he'll be playing on a full-time basis," Hitchcock said. "The only thing we have to guard against is on faceoffs."
In a long series--as this promises to be--Modano's absence could become a factor and test Dallas' depth.
STANLEY CUP FINALS
\o7 Series tied, 1-1\f7
Buffalo 3, Dallas 2 (OT)
Dallas 4, Buffalo 2
Tonight at Buffalo, 5
Tuesday at Buffalo, 5 p.m.
Thursday at Dallas, 5 p.m.
June 19 at Buffalo, 5 p.m.*
June 22 at Dallas, 5 p.m.*