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Lehtonen Practices, but Doubtful for Weekend

Friday, 10.18.2013 / 3:34 PM / 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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 47 28 25 2 53
J. Benn 47 14 28 -2 42
J. Spezza 47 8 27 -4 35
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 47 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 47 11 11 -3 22
T. Daley 44 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 44 9 12 5 21
A. Hemsky 44 7 11 -6 18
J. Klingberg 33 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 19 11 7 .903 2.99
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
 
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