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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Play Spoilers With Shutout of the Hurricanes

They can avoid a historic low with points in Tampa Bay. Plus, expect Olympics news before the playoffs, and expect the U.S. women’s team to come up big.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Kari Lehtonen got his third shutout of the season and the Dallas Stars brought themselves one step away from another historic low point as they frustrated the playoff hopes of the Carolina Hurricanes last night in Raleigh.

Jason Spezza scored the game-winner in the second period during a game that was much closer than the two empty-netters in the last two minutes made it look. Head Coach Lindy Ruff talked with Mike Heika about playing for pride:

"We talked about playing the right way," [Ruff] said. "There's no point in playing sloppy hockey. We knew how hungry they were. The only thing we can do is be spoilers and take some pride in how we play.

"[Lehtonen] had some good saves. We've given up a lot of goals, which starts with the guys in front of him. But when the guys in front of him limit the opportunities, Kari is the type of goaltender who can feed off of it."

Read more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]

Meanwhile, last night’s victory gives the Stars 29 road points on the season, which is tied for their all-time low. [SportsDayDFW]

They have one more chance to rise above that unfortunate record with tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Don’t forget the early start of 5 p.m. Central time.

The Victory Green Gang ended another record point streak last night, which is kind of what they do now.

The goaltending has come online in a big way in the past couple of weeks, which could help as the Stars try to finish strong.

MuckBro got mucked up in Boston on Thursday night, but the good news is that Curtis McKenzie is expected to make a full recovery.

Last night, in the Central:

The Sens have taken yet another injury hit to their blueline, as Cody Ceci left the game with a lower-body injury. [Sportsnet]

Philadelphia Flyers G Michal Neuvirth was subbing for an ill Steve Mason when he collapsed on the ice, after reportedly feeling sick before the game. [CBS Philadelphia]

Stephanie @MyRegularFace Vail posted a series of GIFs that began with this one. You can see the rest by clicking on it.

The dénouement: AHL call-up Anthony Stolarz, who traveled on such short notice that he reached the Flyers’ bench 20 seconds after puck drop, stopped all 26 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils. [Broad Street Hockey]

Neuvirth spent the night in the hospital and got credit for the W, stopping six shots before his collapse. [The Sporting News]

The NHL keeps tweaking its playoffs format. What works and what doesn’t? Luke Fox takes a look. [Sportsnet]

Also at Sportsnet: The NHL expects to make an announcement concerning the 2018 Winter Olympics sometime before the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs begin. [Sportsnet]

Longtime Devils fan Greg Wyshynski reflects on Patrik Elias, who is the kind of player it’s easy to take for granted, until you can’t.

And speaking of underappreciated, Jordie Benn has finally come into his own with the Montreal Canadiens. (Fun fact: The brothers Benn posed for this photo at the urging of fellow former teammate Patrick Eaves. Even now, The Major is winning things for us.)

With his 38th goal of the season, Auston Matthews is now tied with Neal Broten for first on the American rookies’ all-time list (and, amazingly, has had more goals this season than Phil Kessel had in any of his seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. [FanRag Sports]

After a tense lead-up and a near-boycott, the U.S. Women’s National Team showed why it’s a world power with a 2-0 shutout of Team Canada in the World Championships opener. [CBC]

The tiny (pop. 815) Maritimes town of O’Leary, Prince Edward Island – home of the Canadian Potato Museum – has won the title of Kraft Hockeyville for 2017.

Denis Gurianov helped the Texas Stars set a new franchise record for short-handed goals in a season as they rallied to beat the Milwaukee Admirals 5-2.

They’ve also announced a PTO agreement with rookie forward Will Merchant of the Stars’ ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads. [Idaho Steelheads]

Speaking of the Steelheads, it seems shutouts were going around last night.

Frustrated by a junior team that trades you without warning, billets you in substandard housing and generally makes promises it can’t keep? Well, now there’s an app that lets players rate their experiences, thanks to ex-junior goalie Stormer Santana. [The Hockey News]

Finally: Oh, this is a cheeky one. An Albany Devils fan sneaked this past his mom and dad, probably, maybe. Enjoy.