With their 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night the Dallas Stars were winners for the third game in a row and the fifth time in the past seven games. That stretch (where they have picked up 11 out of a possible 14 points) has helped them move back into a playoff spot in the Western Conference for the time being.
They will get even more good news on Saturday night when one of their top forwards is expected to return to the lineup.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff announced on Friday that veteran forward Patrick Sharp has been cleared to return to game action and should be in the lineup on Saturday when the team hosts the Florida Panthers and looks to extend its current winning streak — its best of the season to this point — to four games.
Sharp has been sidelined since the first week of December with a concussion and missed 12 games because of it. The injury originally happened in October when he was hit Los Angeles Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb. After missing nearly a month he returned in late November before being sidelined again when the symptoms returned in early December.
This was the hit that originally put Sharp out of the lineup.
The 35-year-old forward has only appeared in 11 games for the Stars this season due to the concussion symptoms and has recorded just two points (one goal, one assist). Still, he is one of the best forwards on the roster and should be a big boost to a team that is finally starting to put it together after a disappointing start to the season, one that has significantly been impacted by a rash of injuries.