Monday Update: Lehtonen Close, Could be Ready Tuesday

Monday, 03.17.2014 / 5:54 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
X
Share with your Friends


Monday Update: Lehtonen Close, Could be Ready Tuesday

The Dallas Stars practiced in Winnipeg Monday and the focus was on defense after Sunday night’s 7-2 to the Jets.

The seven goals against matched a season-worst for the Stars, who were plagued by costly turnovers and defensive lapses. The Stars talked about the issues, looked at video and addressed the issues in Monday’s on-ice session.

“Talked about our play away from the puck, which I didn’t think we were committed enough. We didn’t win enough wall battles and we made some big mistakes that we haven’t been making,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We went through the video, reinforced where we needed to be. Our opening drill was D zone positioning, talked about the puck support we need, our second man in the D zone which I thought at times he got there too slow.

“It reminded me a lot of coming out of Colorado (6-2 loss in December), where halfway through the game we didn’t play very well defensively and this was a mirror image of what we did there.”

Ruff and his players said they’ll have to put Sunday night’s game behind them. They have two more big games on the road trip, starting with Tuesday’s tilt in Pittsburgh and then it will be Philadelphia on Thursday.

The Stars still hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and with a game in hand on Phoenix, which is tied with the Stars at 75 points, and the advantage in the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker, they still control their own destiny in the race.

“We’ve got 15 games left. We’re still in a good spot,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We hold our own fate here and we’ve got to move on and get ready for next game.”

Lehtonen close to returning, Nilstorp assigned to Texas

Kari Lehtonen went through another practice Monday and appears ready to return from the concussion that has kept him out since March 8.

“I thought Kari had a good day,” Ruff said. “He got a good day’s skate today and tomorrow morning will tell the tale, but I think he is real close.”

Lehtonen is close enough that the Stars sent goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp, who has been backing up Tim Thomas, to the American Hockey League on Monday.

Stars center Vernon Fiddler did not skate Monday, but it sounds as if he should be able to play Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

“Just a maintenance day,” Ruff said. “It shouldn’t be an issue.”

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
DallasStars.com is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Corporate Partnerships | Contact UsPrivacy Policy | AdChoices | Job Opportunities | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map | Find us on Google+