Dallas Stars Do Something They Haven’t Done All Year

Kari Lehtonen was pulled from Sunday's game against the Islanders. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
Kari Lehtonen was pulled from Sunday’s game against the Islanders and has had troubles.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Stephen Elliott

Sunday’s first meeting at the New York Islanders’ new Barclays Center in Brooklyn wasn’t the only first for the Stars. The Stars loss in New York and the game prior in New Jersey marked the first back-to-back losses of the season.

Last week, the Stars lost three out of four winning their lone home game against the Predators. Their three losses all came on the road and against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Stars lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Tuesday. The significant note from this game was the Ales Hemsky injury after blocking a shot in the second. After the game Lindy Ruff talked about his injury.

“It looks like he could be out for a little bit, but we don’t know for sure.”

Hemsky has since been placed on injured reserve and Radek Faksa was called up from AHL.

Kari Lehtonen was pulled at the start of the second period after giving up three goals in the first. It was the fourth time this year and second time in his last three games that Lehtonen had been pulled from a game he started.

On Thursday the Stars pulled off an impressive recovery win against the Nashville Predators winning 5-1. The Stars were down 1-0 before scoring five unanswered. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist helping the cause as Niemi save 33 out of 34 shots.

Saturday was the first of the back-to-back loses as the Stars lost in overtime in New Jersey against the Devils. Colton Sceviour tied it late in the third period sending it to overtime. The Devils went on the power-play where John Moore scored on a slap shot near the top of the zone to get the extra point.

Still with a tough week the Stars lead the Western Conference by eight points and the entire NHL with 60 points

Weekly Observations
Kari Lehtonen has not been consistent lately. He has won two in his last seven and has been pulled in four of those seven. It seems that Niemi is the hot hand and the go-to for now meaning Lehtonen gets his time when Niemi needs a rest.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
1/5  @ Rangers   6:00 pm
1/7   vs Jets         7:30 pm
1/9  vs Wild         7:00 pm