Lehtonen Practices, but Doubtful for Weekend

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 2:34 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Lehtonen Practices, but Doubtful for Weekend
Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who has missed the last three games with a lower body injury, went through a full practice in Frisco Friday morning. Lehtonen said he is making a lot of progress, but he is still not ready to play.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who has missed the last three games with a lower body injury, went through a full practice in Frisco Friday morning. Lehtonen said he is making a lot of progress, but he is still not ready to play.

“It was a huge leap forward,” Lehtonen said. “It was good to get shots that I didn’t know where they were going. The only thing is I am not very fast right now. I can’t make the fast stretches, can’t make the fast stretches and fast pushes. That’s something that hopefully comes the next couple days.”

Lehtonen was injured a week ago in the Stars 4-1 victory at Winnipeg while stretching for a shot. He’s eligible to come off injured reserve in time for this weekend’s games at Los Angeles (Saturday) and at Anaheim (Sunday), but it seems unlikely he’ll be ready.

“Tomorrow comes a little too fast because I wasn’t able to be myself on the ice today. It was a good step forward, but not there yet,” Lehtonen said. “Hopefully tomorrow we can get better again and then we can see. We don’t have to decide anything right now.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff saw Lehtonen’s practice session on Friday as a positive, but indicated the Stars’ No. 1 goaltender might not be ready to play this weekend.

“I think any time he’s out there practicing it’s a good sign,” Ruff said. “I didn’t expect him coming in and practicing today, but he’s feeling pretty good. In my eyes, if we can get by the weekend, he should be ready to play.”

That means the next opportunity for Lehtonen to return would be when the Stars return home and play Calgary on Thursday.

And that would mean that Dan Ellis likely will make his fourth straight start when the Stars take on the Kings Saturday night. With the Stars playing Sunday at 5 p.m. Pacific Time against the Ducks, there’s the possibility the Stars could need Jack Campbell to take a turn in net and make his NHL debut on the second night of a back-to-back.

“There’s a possibility with that quick turnaround we may look to Jack,” Ruff said.

Quotable

“It seems like there are no more easy games in this league any more. There are no nights off. When I first started there were three or four teams where there was a lot of separation. Now, there is so much parity that there is just not an easy game. Now with the systems everyone plays, there is a lot of backchecking, everyone works hard. With Los Angeles and Anaheim, you got two bigger and physical teams and it’s going to be a good test for us again.”

-Stars forward Shawn Horcoff on this weekend’s back-to-back road games in California

Stars practice lineup

Here’s the lineup the Stars rolled out in practice today. Forward Erik Cole was not on the ice. He had a maintenance day.

Forwards:

Jamie Benn -Tyler Seguin - Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney
- Cody Eakin - Alex Chiasson
Antoine Roussel
- Shawn Horcoff - Valeri Nichushkin
Lane MacDermid
- Vernon Fiddler - Ryan Garbutt

Defense:

Alex Goligoski - Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon
- Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley
- Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton

Goaltenders:

Dan Ellis
Jack Campbell
Kari Lehtonen
(injured)

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
11 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 75 27 44 -6 71
T. Seguin 65 33 34 -3 67
J. Spezza 75 16 40 -4 56
J. Klingberg 58 10 27 5 37
C. Eakin 71 17 17 -4 34
A. Goligoski 75 4 30 -1 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
A. Hemsky 69 11 21 -7 32
S. Horcoff 71 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 73 12 14 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
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