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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Rich Peverley undergoing tests

By Richard Durrett
ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley is undergoing tests at UT Southwestern St. Paul Hospital to examine what caused the cardiac event he suffered during the first period of Monday's game with the Columbus Blue Jackets

Stars general manager Jim Nill issued a statement Tuesday, saying the 31-year-old Peverley has been communicating with his friends and teammates and is "extremely grateful for all of the prayers and support" he's received.

"The focus of all the testing and monitoring is being dedicated to finding the cause of the event and a long-term solution to rectify the problem," Nill said in the statement. "We do not have any more specifics at this time."

The Stars are expected to hold a news conference Wednesday, along with UT Southwestern doctors, to update Peverley's situation.

Peverley skated to the bench early in the first period Monday and collapsed. He was immediately treated by medical staff on hand. The NHL decided to postpone the remainder of the game and will decide at a later date whether to reschedule it. The Stars are in St. Louis to play the Blues on Tuesday.

Right winger Alex Chiasson also was hospitalized in Dallas as a result of the incident, coach Lindy Ruff told reporters Tuesday.

According to Ruff, the Peverley incident hit Chiasson, 23, hard from an emotional standpoint, so he went to the hospital while the rest of the team traveled to St. Louis on Monday night.

"He wasn't doing good; a lot of anxiety associated with what happened last night," said Ruff, who witnessed the life-saving measures in a tunnel behind the bench. "He was shaken by the whole event, emotionally shaken. He wasn't doing very well, so we thought it best to get him under some care.

"That was an event that a lot of players handled, I thought, really good. Alex and some guys that are more emotional were really stressed by it."

Ruff said he would check in with both players when the team returns to Dallas after Tuesday's game.

The rest of the team was doing its best to focus on the good news.

"We're going to regroup," center Jamie Benn said. "I guess we'll be playing for Rich tonight."

Tyler Seguin came off the ice just ahead of Peverley on Monday night and thought at first that Peverley had "broken his leg or something."

"I was right beside him there when it was all happening," Seguin said. "Pevs has been in pretty much every memory I have in my pro hockey career so far. It's going to be weird playing without him."

After the game stopped, the Stars players stood in silence, clearly in distress, wary of what happened to one of their own. Some players from both teams dropped to one knee on the ice. Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.

"We were watching it on TV," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The silence was just deafening."

Peverley had a procedure to repair an irregular heartbeat in September and missed the preseason. The issue was diagnosed on an EKG taken during his physical prior to the start of the season. He returned on Oct. 5 and has played in 62 games.

He missed a game last week at Columbus because of an irregular heartbeat but played in the next two games before Monday. Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern said Peverley is monitored closely because of his previous issues with his irregular heartbeat.

Peverley, who is tied for third on the team in points with 30 (seven goals, 23 assists), joined the Stars prior to the season as part of the deal that brought Seguin (and Ryan Button) to Dallas from Boston.

The Stars called up forward Chris Mueller and Colton Sceviour from the Texas Stars. They flew into St. Louis on Tuesday morning.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.