The Dallas Stars are getting as much bad news off the ice as they are producing on it.
Winless in five games, the Stars will play their second straight contest without coach Dave Tippett when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Tippett awoke Friday with numbness in his right shoulder and arm, prompting emergency surgery to remove a disc from his neck.
The Stars coach was recovering Friday evening and was expected to return to his coaching duties Monday. Associate coach Rick Wilson ran the team in his absence Friday, but the Stars blew a pair of third-period one-goal leads in an eventual 3-3 tie with the Phoenix Coyotes.
“Our primary concern is Dave Tippett’s health and well being,” general manager Doug Armstrong said. “We are happy to report that expectations are good for Dave to make a full recovery.”
Wilson served as head coach for the final 32 games of the 2001-02 season.
Tippett coached Wednesday as the Stars fell 6-2 at home to Detroit, giving them four straight losses for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
Friday’s tie was a microcosm of the Stars’ entire season as they lacked a killer instinct, allowing Phoenix to score early in the third and in the final minute of regulation.
“We put our coach in the hospital,” joked Stars defenseman Richard Matvichuk. “He’s been banging his head on his desk, which probably caused the neck injury. We played good tonight for 50 minutes but a couple of bad bounces ended up in our net.”
The Avalanche welcomed Paul Kariya back to the lineup on Thursday, but then were stunned 3-2 in overtime by Phoenix.
Colorado built a two-goal lead, but gave it away in the third period.
“A little mistake there, a little lack of communication, and it was that type of game,” said backup goalie Phillippe Sauve, who had 22 saves.
Kariya, out since Oct. 21 because of a wrist injury, was held without a point and registered just two shots on goal. Kariya has three goals and five points in six games this season.
Forsberg, the reigning NHL scoring champion and MVP, remains day-to-day.
In his absence, Alex Tanguay has picked up the slack offensively for the Avs, leading the NHL with 18 assists and 24 points.
Colorado has beaten Dallas just once in the last eight meetings (1-4-3).