SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Sharp to miss up to 4 weeks

Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during the second...

Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Chicago December 18, 2011. (REUTERS/John Gress)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:34 PM ET

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is expected to miss up to four weeks with what's being reported as a left wrist or hand injury.

Sharp, who won't need surgery, was hurt Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings when he was slashed by Jiri Hudler as he scored his 20th goal of the season. He has 20 goals and 20 assists in 42 games this season.

"We have to check to better, pay attention to details and play tighter," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We want to make sure we're better defensively."

The Blackhawks called up forward Ben Smith from Rockford of the AHL to take Sharp's spot on the roster.

WJC SETS RECORD

Calgary and Edmonton set an attendance record for the world junior hockey championship, attracting 571,539 fans to the Saddledome and Rexall Place over the 11-day tournament, an average of 18,437 a game.

The previous tournament record of 453,282 was set at the 2009 tournament in Ottawa, averaging 14,622 fans a game.

In addition to the 31 games in Calgary and Edmonton, fans across Alberta got a taste of international hockey through the exhibition schedule, which included games in nine communities.

"As a host committee, we truly believe taking games across the province really started the momentum," Al Coates, executive director of the tournament, said.

PENNER PANCAKED

Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner says he was injured while eating pancakes over the weekend, sidelining him for one game.

"Apparently it's one of those mysterious things, where you can throw (your back) out (by) sneezing," the L.A. Kings Insider reported Penner saying.

"I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It's just like (the pain) wraps around you and squeezes. So it was disappointing. Hopefully it's just an isolated incident, and not something that's going to become chronic."

He said his back was so sore he needed his wife's help to put on his clothes.

Penner did practise Sunday and said his back was feeling better. The Kings lost the night earlier to the Blue Jackets, 1-0.

Penner has two goals and six assists in 30 games with the Kings this season.

RIBEIRO OUT TUESDAY

Forward Mike Ribeiro won't play when the Dallas Stars take on the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday.

Ribeiro was scheduled to have an MRI on his injured knee Monday, something that may be more precautionary than anything, but doesn't expect to miss much time. He was hurt Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers.

"Ribby thinks he can play, which is a good sign and he finished that game, which is always a real good sign. However, for the player and his career, we have to take a look at that knee," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said on ESPNDallas.com. "He won't be a player for Tuesday. Once we get the results of the MRI we might fly him out Wednesday to L.A."

Ribeiro is third in Stars scoring with 10 goals and 21 assists in 40 games.

STAR FIRST STAR

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn is the NHL's first star of the week after racking up seven points in three games.

Benn had one goal and two assists in a loss to Detroit, had a goal and assist in a win over Nashville and tallied twice, including the winner, against Edmonton. He now has 13 goals and 28 assists on the season.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul and Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson were the second and third stars, respectively.

Lupul had two goals and five assists in three games for the Leafs while Anderson went 3-0-1, with wins over New Jersey, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.

BRIEFLY

The Detroit Red Wings sent winger Chris Conner to Grand Rapids of the AHL. Conner played seven games with the Wings, recording one goal and two assists ... Top NHL draft prospect Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting won'r require surgery on his injured left knee, according to a tweet by his agent, Igor Larionov. Yakupov, who was hurt in the gold medal game at the world junior championship last week, will miss four weeks, though ... The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Tom Pyatt to a two-year, $1.2 million contract extension. Pyatt has three goals and two assists in 35 games this season ... Forward Ryan Reaves signed a two-year contract extension with the St. Louis Blues despite going pointless in 25 games this season ... Concussed Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang skated Monday, albeit with conditioning coach Mike Kadar, not his teammates. Letang hasn't played since late November ...


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