Dallas Stars Place Kari Lehtonen on Injured Reserve; Same Lines Tonight vs. Flames

Rich Lam

The Stars made the expected move official on Sunday, as the team will roll with the same lines and defensive pairings from Friday tonight against the Calgary Flames.

The Dallas Stars have placed Kari Lehtonen on injured reserve, a move that was expected after his injury suffered on Friday night. Officially listed with a lower body injury, Lehtonen suffered a groin injury in the first period of Friday's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Given the play of Lehtonen this season, there was a notable sense of panic regarding this injury until it was revealed that perhaps the "tweak" wouldn't be as bad as initially feared.

"To me it certainly doesn't seem as severe," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan stated on Friday, when asked to compare this injury to the one from last season that had Lehtonen miss nearly a month of action. Lehtonen is still be referred to as "day-to-day" with the injury, indicating that he's not expected to miss more than the three games this week.

Lehtonen will be eligible to return on Saturday against the visiting Sharks if healthy.

The Stars recalled Cristopher Nilstorp on Saturday, but it will be Richard Bachman in net on Sunday afternoon. Bachman, who allowed six goals on 22 shots on Wednesday night, will get a shot for redemption against the Calgary Flames. Bachman looked rattled at times in Vancouver as well, before settling down for the third period.

Another quick update today from morning skate today, as the Stars will roll with the sames from Friday night's win over the Vancouver Canucks:

Morrow - Benn - Jagr
Smith - Roy - Eriksson
Roussel - Eakin - Ryder
Nystrom - Fiddler - Garbutt

Defensive pairings will also remain the same.

Here's the press release on Lehtonen:

FRISCO, Texas - The Dallas Stars announced today that they have placed goaltender Kari Lehtonen on injured reserve, retroactive to the game on Feb. 15 against Vancouver, when he suffered a lower body injury.

Lehtonen, 29, has appeared in 12 games this season for Dallas, posting a 7-2-1 record with a .934 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.12 goals-against-average (GAA). Lehtonen currently ranks third in the NHL in wins (7) and seventh in SV% (.934). He has a recorded a .925 SV% or higher in 10 of his 12 appearances this season with Dallas. During the 2011-12 campaign, Lehtonen posted career highs in SV% (.922) and GAA (2.33) and became the first goaltender in Dallas Stars history to win seven consecutive games to start a season.

The Dallas Stars, winners in five of their last six games, return home from Western Canada to the American Airlines Center and meet the Calgary Flames this evening, Feb. 17 at 5:00 p.m. (TV: FOX Sports Southwest; Radio: 1310 The Ticket).

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