It looked like a very promising beginning for Mats Zucarello, the newest member of the Dallas Stars, on Sunday but unfortunately his heroics would eventually cost him.
The long time New York Rangers' forward played a huge role in the Stars picking up a crucial 4 - 3 victory over the home town Chicago Blackhawks. Zuccarello picked up an assist during the game and added a goal that gave the Stars a 3 - 0 lead early in the game's second period. Zuccarello scored off a one timer beating Blacklhacks veteran goaltender Cam Ward.
Unfortunately in spite of Zuccarello's rather impressive Stars debut, the story tonight will be the relatively serious injury he suffered. Zuccarello not only flashed his offensive skills this evening but also displayed his defensive prowess, blocking shots from the opposing team. With the Blackhawks on a rush being led by Blackhawks' star forward Patrick Kane, Zuccarello sacrificed his body by throwing himself in front of a shot that came from Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy.
Zuccrello was slow to get up and as he made his way to the bench it was obvious that he was feeling some discomfort. It was not long before he would retreat back to the locker room and would not return to the game.
To make matters worse it now appears that Zuccarello is expected to be out for the long term, just one game after being dealt to the Stars. Dallas Stars beat writer Mike Heika is now reporting that Zuccarello is expected to miss somewhere in the range of four weeks due to the injury he suffered this evening, a very long time for a player you just acquired days before the deadline. That being said this is not a firm time frame for Zuccarello's recovery as according to Heika he is being sent back to Dallas for further evaluation.
Zuccarello had been playing very well as of late for the New York Rangers and appeared to have brought that same form to the Dallas Stars. In spite of going down with an injury in the game he had 1 goal, 1 assist, for 2 points and was a +3 on the night. Unfortunately on top of his injury the Stars also lost their captain Jamie Benn to an upper body injury although he is listed as day to day.