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game recap

Stars score five against Islanders to give Lehtonen 300th win

Makes 32 saves; Pitlick gets two goals

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Kari Lehtonen made 32 saves for his 300th NHL win when the Dallas Stars defeated the New York Islanders 5-2 at Barclays Center on Wednesday.

"It was fun," Lehtonen said. "It was nice to get (No. 300) with the first try. Of course, it was in the back of my head. It was nice to get it right away. It was a nice feeling."

Tyler Pitlick scored twice, and Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists for Dallas (18-13-1), which has won the first two games of its four-game road trip after a three-game losing streak. Alexander Radulov and Remi Elie also scored.

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Islanders highlights]

 

Anders Lee scored twice in the third period for New York (17-11-3), which has lost twice in regulation in 13 home games. Jaroslav Halak was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Thomas Greiss made six saves.

The Stars outscored the Islanders 10-2 in two games this season.

"It's a team we don't see very often," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "I don't know. It is what it is. Sometimes there's things you just can't explain."

Video: DAL@NYI: Lehtonen records 300th career victory

Pitlick gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 7:37 of the first period. Dan Hamhuis took a shot from the point that went off the end boards and bounced to Pitlick at the left side of the net, where he tapped it over the goal line.

Radulov made it 2-0 at 15:46 when his soft wrist shot off the right wing managed to go between Halak's skates.

"I think he knows he's got to have the second one," Islanders coach Doug Weight said of Halak. "First one, he releases the puck, it bangs off two legs from behind the net, it kind of banks in off him. But it's just frustrating. We're all frustrated. I'm sure he is too. We want to get a roll together."

Video: DAL@NYI: Pitlick pots redirection for his second goal

Lehtonen, who passed Miikka Kiprusoff for the most NHL games played by a Finland-born goaltender (624), made 15 saves in the first period. Lehtonen, 34, is 300-223-65 in 14 NHL seasons.

"It's a huge moment for him, but man, he was good tonight," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He had to earn it. He had to work. He had the help of the [goal posts] three times. He had to earn it tonight. This is one you've got to look and say the goalie was your best player, because to win in this building and against that team, your goalie is going to have to be your best player."

The Stars made it 3-0 at 1:01 of the second period when Elie scored on a rebound during a delayed penalty. Halak was pulled after Benn made it 4-0 with a wrist shot from the slot at 9:21.

Pitlick scored his second when he redirected John Klingberg's wrist shot 21 seconds into the third period to make it 5-0.

Video: DAL@NYI: Lee pots rebound to put Isles on the board

"We wanted everybody in the lineup contributing," Benn said. "I thought especially the last two games, we've had that."

Lee ended Lehtonen's shutout at 1:06 of the third, then scored his Islanders-leading 19th goal on a power play at 16:28 to make it 5-2. He is third in the NHL, two behind Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

 

Goal of the game

Pitlick's goal at 7:37 of the first period.

Video: DAL@NYI: Pitlick flips home puck to open scoring

 

Save of the game

Lehtonen's save against John Tavares at 14:42 of the first period.

Video: DAL@NYI: Lehtonen stones Tavares' point-blank chance

 

Highlight of the game

Lehtonen's save against Cal Clutterbuck at 12:33 of the third period.

Video: DAL@NYI: Lehtonen shuts the door on Clutterbuck

 

They said it

"I've been around him for many years now, and it's pretty special to see him accomplish 300 wins; that's a pretty good goal. It's spectacular for a goaltender. We knew about it before the game but we didn't talk about it. We let him know after the game that that's pretty impressive. He was the player of the game today for many reasons. He's put in a lot of hard work. I think the biggest thing is he's been a great team player this year. He deserves a lot for that." -- Stars captain Jamie Benn on goalie Kari Lehtonen

 

"I remember the game in Dallas, we were just flat (a 5-0 loss Nov. 10). None of us had our legs that night, we didn't get going and they completely dominated us. I didn't feel like they dominated us tonight; I think it was more they just capitalized on their opportunities." -- Islanders forward Anders Lee

 

Need to know

Radulov left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury. Hitchcock said it was for precautionary reasons and is hopeful it's not too serious. The forward will be re-evaluated Thursday. … Lehtonen is the 33rd goalie in NHL history to win 300 games. Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward won his 300th game Tuesday. … Kiprusoff was 319-213-64 (7 ties), the most NHL wins by a Finland-born goaltender. … Stars center Martin Hanzal played 13:47 after missing seven games with a hamstring injury. … Islanders forward Josh Bailey had two assists and passed Pierre Turgeon for 17th on their scoring list with 341 points. Bailey has 30 assists this season.

 

What's next

Stars: At the New Jersey Devils on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lehtonen earns 300th career win in Stars' 5-2 victory

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