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Game-Time Decision: Joe Pavelski Close to Return for Dallas Stars

Joe Pavelski is continually improving in regards to his health. He plans to travel with the team and is a game-time decision.

Head coach Pete DeBoer has been telling the media that forward Joe Pavelski has been making great strides when it comes to his health over the past few days. DeBoer noted on Tuesday that today was a “great step” for Joe Pavelski skating with the group and is getting “close.” On Wednesday, he then added that he believes Pavelski will be traveling with the team to Minnesota for Game 6 and could be a game-time decision.

DeBoer told media on Wednesday, “I think he’s planning on traveling (for Game 6 to Minnesota). I would call him a game-time decision right now. I haven’t seen him today. He’s getting better every day.” He then said that Pavelski would skate with the team and they would take it from there.

With the Stars up 3-2 in their best-of-seven with the Minnesota Wild, there’s really no reason to rush Pavelski back into the lineup. That said, if he were to make a return, it would be a big boost for the Dallas Stars as he’s consistently been one of their top offensive producers. Not to mention, the struggles the Wild are having killing penalties in this series will only get worse if Pavelski is available for the Stars’ power play, of which he is a regular.

Pavelski, 38, has a bit of a history of concussions and bad hits. He took one as a member of the San Jose Sharks too and there is some concern that he might be rushing back into the lineup. The big hit he took from Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba was among the more devastating of these playoffs and Pavelski banged his head hard on the ice when he fell. With the Stars leading in the series, it might make sense to take extra precaution here with the player and give it time before popping him back onto the ice.

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