With their 1-10-2 record on the second night of back-to-backs this year threatening to become an epitaph on the season if things don't work out like we all hope they will, the Stars made the decision today to start Kari Lehtonen in both games of their final, and perhaps most daunting back-to-back yet: At Vancouver/At San Jose this Friday and Saturday.
Two points out of these two contests any way they come would be a gargantuan step toward the post-season, and Glen Gulutzan has decided that it's time to ride his MVP in Kari Lehtonen both nights.
"We're gonna run with Kari here," said Gulutzan Thursday as practice wrapped up. "There was, a little bit [of discussion about Bachman], but Kari's feeling pretty good right now. He wants to play and we need at least three more wins, so... We need to find them anywhere we can."
Three more wins, says Gully. I say 2-2-1 would work as well. 0-0-5 might work too, though it's not exactly ideal. But I digress...
Glen Gulutzan has used Kari Lehtonen in back to back situations three times this year. The first was that fateful night in November that Lehtonen's groin would rather forget. The second was in Buffalo, after a win in Columbus the night before. Kari stopped 30 of 32 in a shootout loss that night. The third was February 18th and 19th, both losses, with the second coming on a Sunday afternoon against the Predators immediately preceeding the Stars' big 10-0-1 streak.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk skated with the injured Dallas players as well as Richard Bachman, Tom Wandell, Tomas Vincour, Toby Petersen, Reilly Smith, Jordie Benn, and Philip Larsen today because he had equipment available after skating with Calgary alums.
Mark Fistric (abdominal strain) is close, but will not be ready Friday. He's reportedly a little ahead of Radek Dvorak (ankle) and Eric Nystrom (leg laceration), neither of which are expected to play this weekend.
What say you about the goaltending decision? You have to dance with the one that brought you at this point, right?