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Stars, Lehtonen Shut Out Desperate Hurricanes 3-0

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With the Carolina Hurricanes hanging on by a thread in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Stars shut them down.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams with goaltenders who are consistently the punchline of jokes around the league post solid defensive performances with the Dallas Stars edging out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0.

Although the Carolina Hurricanes were fighting for their playoff lives, Dallas put up some strong resistance in the first period and the two teams played a relatively even opening frame. Neither team was able to pot a goal with the Hurricanes holding a slight edge in shots.

While Carolina started to control more of the territorial play in the second, it was Dallas that finally broke through with a goal. Jason Spezza took a beautiful bank pass from rookie Remi Elie and waded into a shot. It rose quickly over the left shoulder of Cam Ward and gave the Stars the first lead of the game.

Dallas closed the second by taking back some of the territorial play and keeping the puck in the Hurricanes’ end. While they were not able to take advantage with another goal, they ended the period on a positive note.

The third period started with a little more back and forth action with neither team being able to convert anything into a goal. It kept going that way and the Stars were once again the only team to score by ways of a dagger empty net goal late in the period by John Klingberg.

Devin Shore would add another empty netter and the Stars completed the shutout, 3-0.

Justin Dowling, Brett Ritchie and Jason Dickinson were the only Dallas players to finish in the positive end of the even-strength shot attempt share, a positive sign for a group of young players who will be fighting for roster spots next season.

The Stars are back on the ice tomorrow night against another Eastern team trying to claw their way into the eighth playoff slot, the Tampa Bay Lightning.