ANAHEIM, Calif., Jan 20 -- Dallas Stars center Joe Nieuwendyk suffered a separated right shoulder Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Team doctors say he will be out of action for at least the next month.
Just a week after he was activated from injured reserve, Nieuwendyk went down again early in the third period.
"I was coming up to some pretty good speed," he told the Dallas Morning News. "He (Ducks right wing Jeff Nielsen) was coming hard down the wall. I didn't really see him and he got me. It's tough. I was starting to feel pretty good the past couple of games. It's unfortunate but you never know what's going to happen in this game. I'm not going to throw in the towel. I want to get myself ready for another run at the (Stanley) Cup."
"He'll probably be out a month," said Coach Ken Hitchcock. "That's just the way our season has been going."
The 33-year-old Nieuwendyk just came back after he missed 10 games because of a chest contusion and rib cartilage damage he suffered in a game against Edmonton Dec. 1. His latest injury is another blow to the defending Stanley Cup champion Stars, who have a lost a total of 195 man-games to injury and have not been able to put together a prolonged stretch of solid hockey all season long.
A two-time 50-goal scorer, Nieuwendyk is fourth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 13 assists in 33 games. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the postseason last spring after collecting 11 goals and 10 assists in 23 games.
Also in the third period, Jere Lehtinen, who missed 30 game because of a broken left ankle, suffered an injury to the same ankle. He was expected to miss at least the Thursday game at Los Angeles and will be reevaluated when the team returns to Dallas.
Right wing Jamie Langenbrunner (ribs), center Brian Skrudland (chest contusion) and defensemen Derian Hatcher (calf) and Shawn Chambers (knee) are currently sidelined. The Stars also have played stretches this season without right wing Grant Marshall and defensemen Darryl Sydor and Richard Matvichuk.
"We're running out of answers," Matvichuk said. "It's definitely hard to look at the future and hope you're going to be healthy when you have so many injuries. These are all-star players. When you lost those kinds of players, you feel it."