DENVER -- The Dallas Stars will have to make do without top goalie Kari Lehtonen for at least three weeks as he recovers from a groin injury.
It's a big loss, as Lehtonen has started 19 of the Stars' first 23 games while posting a 13-4-1 record with a 2.34 goals-against average and .926 save percentage. He was injured Saturday against Phoenix, underwent an MRI on Sunday in Dallas and has been placed on injured reserve.
"Kari will be out at least three weeks," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said after this morning's skate at the Pepsi Center, where his team faces the Colorado Avalanche tonight. "We got some good news on that front as far as the MRI. It's not a high groin pull or anything; it's kind of a low strain, low pull. Those tend to heal a little better, so we're looking at the three-week mark before he can get going again."
Losing Lehtonen puts the onus on Andrew Raycroft, who will start tonight against his former Avalanche teammates. He's winless in five decisions this season with a 3.50 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.
Richard Bachman will be the backup following his recall from the Texas Stars in the American Hockey League. Bachman, 24, is a former Colorado College star who grew up in the Denver area. He had a 7-5-1 record with Texas this season with a 3.13 GAA and .887 save percentage.