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Stars Practice: Special Teams Talk, Lehtonen Very Close; Robidas Still Limping

It wasn't long ago that we were examining the greatness that was the Dallas Stars penalty kill. Since returning from that five game road trip, however, the Stars have surrendered two power play goals in four consecutive games. Glen Gulutzan talked to the media about getting back to the success they had on the road.

"So here's what we talked about this morning: We killed that many (34 consecutively)," said Gulutzan. "I don't mind if in three or four games we give up ten and our percentage drops... whatever. I'd rather give them up all at once. It's like when I open a bag of oreos at my house, I tell my wife I'm going to eat the whole bag today, so I don't feel bad for ten days." The trick, he implied, is that now they have to get back to where they were.

"The power play is the inverse of that," he continued. "We can't just run up two good nights and then our average goes up and then we feel good about ourselves. Our power play has to score 1 of 4, 1 of 5, 1 of 3, 0 for 2, 1 for 4...".

"Is it as simple as pucks to the net, bodies to the net? asked Mike Heika. "It is that simple," replied Gulutzan.

Gulutzan added that this next seven game "segment" for them will have a very close focus from the coaching staff on special teams. He kept calling "our specialty teams segment."

Good news/bad news on the injury front as Kari Lehtonen looks close and others do not...

Continued after the jump

Kari Lehtonen practiced with the team, manning one of the two nets by himself, which is a positive sign. No one will say for sure but if I had to bet on it, I'd bet on him playing Thursday night. As far as what's going to happen at the backup position in that event, the Stars are playing it close to the vest.

"We're not gonna carry three, so I don't know what's going to happen," said Gulutzan. "There's going to be a decision made. I think Joe and Frank and Les are the guys who will make that decision, along with myself. We've talked about it a little bit."

When asked if Raycroft (potentially) through waivers played into the time frame of a decision he said he wasn't all that familiar with that side of the business. It would take 24 hours to clear waivers, thus causing Lehtonen to wait to be activated from IR.

They could just put one of the injured guys on IR (Souray or Robidas) to give themselves more time and open up a roster spot. Souray would be the guy I would guess, but Robidas is still limping and is not practicing. It sounds like they'll both very likely be out again on Thursday and possibly beyond. Bad news with Boston and Detroit coming up.

Either way, the decision on Bachman and Raycroft will come soon. If Raycroft does go down he'll still make his NHL salary. If the team hadn't been sold yet we'd be talking about that as a factor, but we're assuming it's not now.