Jokinen's injury could cause shuffle in lineup
Barch, Lindros could be called upon in must-win game
By CHUCK CARLTON / The Dallas Morning News
FRISCO – Jussi Jokinen will definitely be out, Krys Barch could be in and Eric Lindros just might make his first playoff appearance in a Stars uniform.
While injuries are always confusing in the secretive NHL playoffs, the Stars' lineup for tonight's win-or-golf Game 5 with the Vancouver Canucks carries additional intrigue.
Jussi Jokinen, who suffered an "upper body injury" in Game 4, did not make the trip.
In his place, rookie Krys Barch practiced on a line with Steve Ott and Antti Miettinen. Barch had been listed as having an upper body injury, too, but coach Dave Tippett said he was "healthy enough."
In 26 games this season, Barch primarily filled the tough-guy role, recording 107 penalty minutes. But he also showed he could provide energy.
"I don't have to fight; that's not my entire game," Barch said. "I think it's skating hard, getting to a play, finishing my check. Yeah, I think I can help."
If Tippett decides to go another direction or to really shake up his lineup, Lindros might be a viable option.
Tippett said Lindros, who has been nursing a groin injury, had not played "because his injury was not to where he could play yet. If he has a chance to be a player, he'll come."
Later, Lindros joined the traveling party.
At best, the one-time MVP has been a low-risk, low-reward signing this season, troubled by injuries and a lack of production after a promising start.
He could be a factor at the net because of his 6-4, 245-pound frame. And he was effective in two games against Vancouver, with a goal, an assist and a plus-1 rating.
The downside: those performances came early. Lindros' last goal came Nov. 20 against Colorado.
No juice: The matchup between the Stars' power-play units and Vancouver's penalty killers has become a no-contest.
The Stars have two power-play goals in 25 tries against a unit that led the NHL in the regular season. While the Stars' penalty-killers have been even better, holding Vancouver to just one man-advantage goal in 22 tries, the Canucks still hold a 3-1 lead.
Meanwhile, the Stars have lost their three games by one goal.
"You can't win 0-0 and it's hard to win 1-0," power-play quarterback Sergei Zubov said. "You have to score goals. I don't know; you have to score goals."
Said defenseman Philippe Boucher: "Give them credit; they're the best PK in the league. But if they take something away, then we have to go find something else."
Flashback: Mike Ribeiro said he had no nightmares about his shot that nearly tied Game 4 before being cleared at the goal line by defenseman Willie Mitchell.
"They don't want to come back here," said Ribeiro, a member of the 2004 Montreal Canadiens that rallied from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate Boston. "They want to finish at home. If you can get this one, momentum can switch."