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Jets lose RW Drew Stafford to upper-body injury

Drew Stafford’s night ended early on Tuesday as the right wing exited the Winnipeg Jets’ road game against the Dallas Stars in the first period with an upper-body injury.

Stafford saw just 2 minutes, 13 seconds of ice time on three shifts before departing. His final turn on the ice lasted 33 seconds and ended with 11:24 remaining in the opening session.

The 30-year-old Stafford has gotten off to a slow start offensively this season, registering just one assist in six games – including Tuesday’s contest. He unleashed only six shots on goal in his first five games while averaging 15:24 of ice time.

Stafford is coming off a 2015-16 season in which he scored 21 goals – his highest total since netting a career-best 31 with Buffalo in 2010-11. He added 17 assists to finish with 38 points, which is his greatest amount since he recorded 50 in 2011-12 for the Sabres.

Selected by Buffalo with the 13th overall pick in the 2004 draft, Stafford made his NHL debut in 2006-07, registering 13 goals and 14 assists in 41 games. He spent 7 1/2 more seasons with the Sabres before being shipped to Winnipeg in a seven-player trade that sent Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian to upstate New York.

A four-time 20-goal scorer, Stafford has collected 175 tallies and 205 assists in 673 career regular-season games with the Sabres and Jets. The 6-foot-2, 214-pound native of Milwaukee, who helped the United States capture the gold medal at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship, also has recorded four goals and nine points in 24 playoff contests.

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