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Friday, October 15, 2010
Stars: Fistric's hit on Franzen a good one

By Mark Stepneski

The Detroit Red Wings were not pleased with a hit by Stars defenseman Mark Fistric that knocked Johan Franzen out of Thursday night's game. After Friday's practice in Frisco, Fistric said he was just doing his job and Fistric's bosses said it looked like a good hit.

"I just think I was finishing my check," Fistric said. "It's unfortunate. Obviously you never want a guy to get hurt. It's unfortunate, but from my point of view I was just trying to do my job."

The play happened late in the first period. Franzen ended up going down in the corner in the Dallas zone and claimed that he the Dallas defenseman elbowed him in the head. Fistric said he wasn't sure what happened.

"The play happened so quick. I might have clipped him with my shoulder," Fistric said. "I don't think there was anything dirty. I didn't even think it was that hard, it was just the way that it happened."

Fistric wasn't even aware that Franzen was hurt and said he didn't even know that it was hit that was responsible.

"The play went into the offensive zone and we played for 20-25 seconds before the whistle. I turned back and saw that he was down. I didn't even know that it was my hit," Fistric said. "It's unfortunate. I hope he is alright."

Asked this morning about the hit, Stars coach Marc Crawford said he had no problem with it.

"I thought it was a good hit," Crawford said. "It was a north-south play. Their player goes down very low, when he turns he turns he comes down and you get hit. Mark had him lined up the whole way, he tried to cut back on him and he hit him."

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk was surprised at Detroit's reaction to the play.

"I read that Detroit's upset about it, but I thought it was a pretty good hit," said Nieuwendyk, who added that he hadn't heard anything from the league about as of late Friday morning.

Jamie Benn out for Saturday, possible for Monday

Stars forward Jamie Benn (concussion-like symptoms) won't play Saturday against St. Louis, but he continues to improve and could be ready for Monday's game in Tampa Bay.

"Jamie's positive again today," Stars coach Marc Crawford said after Friday's practice. "He's doing his tests today and I think he's going to skate here later today and skate with the team tomorrow. That's the plan. ... We won't play him [Saturday], now we are targeting Monday."

Lehtonen gets maintenance day

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen did not practice Friday. Stars coach Marc Crawford said it was a maintenance day for Lehtonen, who will start in goal against St. Louis Saturday night.

Practice lineup

Here was Friday's practice lineup:

Neal-Richards-Eriksson
Morrow-Ribeiro-Burish
Sutherby-Petersen-Ott
Barch-Wandell-Segal
Brunnstrom

Grossman-Robidas
Skrastins-Niskanen
Fistric-Daley
Woywitka

Raycroft