Mats Zuccarello hurt in first Stars game, likely out 4 weeks

Newly acquired Dallas Stars winger Mats Zuccarello is expected to miss at least four weeks after suffering an injury while blocking a shot in his Stars debut Sunday.

Zuccarello, a longtime fan favorite for the New York Rangers, was acquired by the Stars on Saturday. He left New York at 5 a.m. ET Sunday and joined the Stars for a Sunday afternoon game in Chicago.

The 31-year-old Norwegian impressed early, scoring a goal and an assist by early in the second period as Dallas built a 3-0 lead. However, in the waning seconds of the frame, Zuccarello blocked a slap shot from Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy. The puck appeared to hit Zuccarello in the hand or wrist area and he did not return for the third period. Zuccarello told reporters after the game he believed his arm was broken.

The Stars announced he will return to Dallas for further evaluation as the team continues on its road trip. The official designation is an upper-body injury.

The Stars survived the Blackhawks 4-3, but they also lost captain Jamie Benn to an upper-body injury. Benn, who has 21 goals and 20 assists in 61 games, was hurt during the first shift of the game and went to the dressing room for evaluation. He was later ruled out.

"Jamie Benn is day-to-day, upper body," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said, adding that Benn was actually hurt in Saturday night's game and tried to play, but the injury was aggravated early Sunday.

Benn will stay with the team on the current trip.

The Stars hold the first wild card in the West. They enter Monday one point ahead of the Wild, two points ahead of the Avalanche, up four on the Coyotes and six on the Blackhawks.

Zuccarello was acquired in exchange for two conditional draft picks -- a second-rounder in 2019 and a third-rounder in 2020 -- to help the Stars generate more goals. At the time of the trade, they had the third-worst offense in the NHL, averaging only 2.51 goals per game.

His contract has a salary-cap hit of $4.5 million, though the Rangers are retaining 30 percent of his salary. Zuccarello becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Zuccarello has 12 goals and 27 assists in 47 games this season. The 5-foot-8 winger joined the Rangers as a free agent in May 2010.

The Rangers and Stars agreed on an unusual arrangement in the deal: The second-round pick will become a first-rounder if the Stars make it to the third round of the playoffs and Zuccarello plays in at least 50 percent of the team's games over the first two rounds. The third-round pick would become a first-rounder if Zuccarello re-signs in Dallas for next season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.