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Thursday, January 6, 2011
Matt Niskanen talks about collision

By Mark Stepneski

Matt Niskanen said he didn’t see Karlis Skrastins coming until the last second -- and by that time it was too late.

The two Stars defensemen collided during warm-ups prior to the third period of Wednesday’s game in Chicago, knocking them out of action for the rest of the night and beyond.

“He was skating backwards, and I was making a turn,” Niskanen said Thursday afternoon at the team’s practice facility in Frisco. “By the time I got my head up and saw who was coming, he was already coming 100 miles an hour and hit me with the back of his helmet.

“It was kind of a weird -- a really, really weird situation.”

Initial reports had the collision leaving Niskanen with a broken nose and chipped teeth. There was no broken nose for Niskanen, just a bloody one.

“A cut hand, that’s the worst of it,” said Niskanen, who was slashed during the collision. “I didn’t lose any teeth. My mouth is cut up a little bit.”

That cut on his hand, which is on his left palm, is the injury that the Stars say will keep him out of at least one game.

“By far [it was the strangest injury situation I’ve been involved in], not even in the course of a game,” said Niskanen.

As for Skrastins, Stars coach Marc Crawford said the veteran blue-liner was the one who had a broken nose and a chipped tooth. Skrastins is being evaluated by doctors.

Both players are expected to miss at least Friday’s game with the New York Rangers.