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Kari Lehtonen, Stars shut out Sharks

Dallas goalie makes 30 saves; San Jose remains four points ahead in Pacific race

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves and Curtis McKenzie scored the only goal to help the Dallas Stars to a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks at American Airlines Center on Monday.

The Sharks (42-23-7) have lost three straight games for the second time this season. They are four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division race.

"Chances are there, so we've just got to bear down and we've got to get one dirty or ugly around the net. We've got to get one on the power play some way, somehow to take a little pressure off the group because it's hard to win when you're only getting one or no goals like we have the last couple of games," Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. "Right now we're cold, but we're paying a price for that."

 

WATCH: All Sharks vs. Stars highlights

 

It was the Stars' second shutout of the season and the first since Lehtonen made 23 saves in a 3-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 3.

Video: Stars, Oilers earn Monday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Dallas (29-33-10) won for the second time in the past six games.

"He was ready to go today, maybe because it was I hit him up high in warmups," Stars forward Patrick Sharp said of Lehtonen. "I was a little worried too. Then he made those first couple saves and I was breathing a little bit easier. What a game for him."

"Woke me up," Lehtonen said. "It woke the beast."

Video: SJS@DAL: Lehtonen denies Sorensen's deflection

McKenzie scored at 14:54 of the second period when he positioned himself in front of the net and deflected a point shot by Adam Cracknell into the net.

Aaron Dell made 19 saves for the Sharks, including a couple of highlight-reel stops.

Dell stopped Cody Eakin on a one-timer with 6:04 remaining in the first period. In the second period, he gloved Brett Ritchie's shot to thwart a 2-on-1.

"It was exciting. Some saves he made were just outstanding," Lehtonen said. "So I'm just a little fan when that happens, but I'm of course hoping that we would score a couple more."

Lehtonen made his toughest save in the first period when he kicked away a chance by Logan Couture with his left toe with 8:17 remaining.

Video: SJS@DAL: Dell reaches to poke puck away from McKenzie

 

Goal of the game

McKenzie drove hard to the net and then signaled to Cracknell with his stick. "I was kind of waving the flag," McKenzie said. "Not often that you get that much time in front. Just doing anything to make sure he saw me in front there."

Video: SJS@DAL: McKenzie redirects Cracknell's shot into net

 

Save of the game

Lehtonen was almost caught out of position in the first period and thought Couture was going to shoot, but he scrambled to make the save. "It was just a difficult situation when Couture has some time and I'm already down so I kind of have to play, do something tricky," Lehtonen said. "That's where the long legs came to help me."

Video: SJS@DAL: Lehtonen makes aggressive stop on Couture

 

Highlight of the game

Ritchie and Tyler Seguin had a 2-on-1 with a minute remaining in the second period, but Dell made a glove save and recovered in time to cover the rebound.

Video: SJS@DAL: Dell flashes leather to deny odd-man rush

 

Unsung performance of the game

Seguin won 10 of 13 faceoffs. He had one takeaway and one blocked shot in 17:56 of ice time.

 

They said it

"It's really been a big year for them. Adam [Cracknell] did a real good job of hanging on the puck. I thought that line had two or three good opportunities during the night, but Curtis [McKenzie] did a good job getting to the front of the net and got his stick on it." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff on his fourth line

 

"The other night we got a lot of quality looks I think, and chances are when you get those looks throughout a night, you're going to score three and four. Tonight, I don't think they were as good, probably not as many. I don't think they had as many. It was a pretty tight game. You look up halfway through the game and shots are 12-9 or something like that, so there wasn't a whole lot of room out there. In a moment like that, special teams got to take over and generate a little bit more, somebody has got to step up. Had a few looks; we just got to find a way to crack it." -- Sharks captain Joe Pavelski

 

Need to know

Sharks center Sean Tierney missed the game due to illness. Right wing Jannik Hansen was out because of an undisclosed injury. … It was Lehtonen's 36th NHL career shutout.

 

What's next

Sharks: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lehtonen, McKenzie lead Stars to shutout of Sharks

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