Dallas Stars center Brad Richards, who has missed the last ten games with concussion-like symptoms, skated with the team this morning at American Airlines Center and is expected to play tonight against the Calgary Flames.
"As for right now, he is scheduled to play and we're very pleased about that," said Stars coach Marc Crawford. "It's been ten games that we've played without him. We've been playing extremely well without him lately, but anytime you can add a player of his ilk into your lineup it's a very, very favorable situation. We're looking forward to having Brad coming back and playing a big part in tonight's game."
Richards has been out since February 13, when he was hit in the head by Columbus forward Samuel Pahlsson.
"We've been very,very, very cautious," Crawford said of how the team has handled Richards' injury. "That's the right thing to do given the way that everybody has focused in on all of these injuries throughout the league. You want to make sure everybody is on the same page and we all are. We are looking out for the best interest of Brad, the best interest of the Dallas Stars. I think we've all come to a very favorable decision here and it's the right one. He's excited about playing tonight, and that's probably the most important factor."
Richards looked good at this morning's skate and was skating with a lot of enthusiasm.
"The last ten days I've been getting healthier and I feel good," Richards said. "Being on the ice by yourself for two weeks, enough is enough. It's fun being out there with the guys. I feel like I am back being part of the group again."
Defenseman Nicklas Grossman remains out with a hip injury. This will be the 11th game he's missed with the injury, but Crawford said Grossman is getting closer to a return.
Kari Lehtonen is in goal tonight.