By Martin Iheke
Should we go ahead and call your Dallas Stars, the “Road Warriors”? That would be an appropriate term to label this team considering how well they have played on the road recently. Check this out. They have won six straight on the road and seven out of their last eight road games improving their overall record to 11-7-2 with 24 points and continue to rise up in the Central Division. One of the biggest reasons for this is, who else….. goaltender Kari Lehtonen. He is 8-1-0 on the road this season with a 0.936 save percentage and a 1.89 goals-against average. Folks, that is pretty good. He continues to be spectacular for the Stars when they need him to be.
His 42 saves at the Vancouver Canucks this past Sunday was yet another example as the Stars would get by with a 2-1 win. “What Kari does is he gives us all confidence,” defenseman Stephane Robidas said according to dallasnews.com. “We still make mistakes, but we don’t dwell on them. We move forward and move forward with the confidence that he’s back there,” as he continued. After Sunday’s game, Lehtonen has started 12 straight games after coming back from a lower-body injury. He does not feel tired thanks to a light schedule. “It’s what I’m working for,” Lehtonen said according to dallasnews.com. “The schedule is helping me, in that you play a couple of games and then you get two or three days off. It’s working well for us right now, and we’re winning, so that’s good,” as he continued.
Another reason for the Stars continued success on the road and overall, is the play of center Tyler Seguin and captain Jamie Benn. These two have been awesome together on the first line with the way they can play off each other on both ends of the ice. And the stats reflect that as Benn and Seguin lead the team in scoring at 22 points with Seguin leading the team in goals at 12 while Benn is the team leader in plus/minus rating at 9. A big example of their brilliant performance came last Thursday night in Calgary when the Stars took apart the Flames, 7-3. It was the Stars first win on the second night of a back-to-back this season. Benn had a goal and five assists while Seguin had four goals and an assist. “To be honest, we were happy we won in Edmonton,” Seguin said according to NHL.com. “But for Benn and I, sitting here together, we didn’t like the way we completely played last game and I thought the first we were OK and talked about it and the second, we just came out rolling,” as he continued. Seguin did mention the game in Edmonton against the Oilers the previous night as the Stars were able to pull out a 3-0 victory. It was not one of the prettiest game to watch, but the Stars did what they had to do to win. Lehtonen earned his first shutout of the season with a 22-save performance as he continues to prove why he is one of the best goalies in the league.
I am sure the Stars would love to continue to play on the road, but they do have a home game coming up which is their next game against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. It will be their third home game in a stretch of playing nine out of twelve games on the road. That stretch will conclude when they head back out on the road this Saturday to play the St. Louis Blues for the first time this season.
11/21 vs Rangers 7:30 PM
11/23 @Blues 7:00 PM