If the Dallas Stars are looking for a boost to carry them to some victories, it isn’t going to come in the form of a healthy and available Kari Lehtonen. At least not over the weekend. As outstanding as it would be for Dallas to have the usual starter ready to go and in net as it takes on the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks on back-to-back nights, it’ll be Dan Ellis and maybe even Jack Campbell tending to the crease.
Mike Heika of the Dallas News updated Lehtonen’s status in a report yesterday, and all but confirmed that Ellis would be the starter on Saturday night against the Kings:
Lindy Ruff does not announce his goalie before games, but it seems clear that Dan Ellis will get his fourth consecutive start when the Stars play Saturday at Los Angeles.
Lehtonen worked out Friday in Frisco, but Ruff hinted that he probably wouldn’t play either Saturday against the Kings or Sunday in Anaheim.
Lehtonen suffered a lower body injury in the third game against Winnipeg and hasn’t played since. He’s been working out, but is on IR and is listed as day-to-day. Under NHL rules, Lehtonen is eligible to play whenever he deems he is healthy and can be activated from IR.
The Stars are currently in 13th place in the Western conference, and trail the 8th place Kings by four points. A win against L.A.—regardless of who is in net—would be huge for a team that desperately needs one at this point. Ellis just helped Dallas down the formally undefeated San Jose Sharks though, and it’s likely the team will have a little extra swagger as a result.