Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who has been out since last Saturday with a concussion, went through a full practice this morning in Frisco.
“He’s doing a lot better,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’s coming on the trip with us, but when he’ll be ready to play is yet to be determined. He’s progressing nicely, but real close to getting back.”
This is the second straight day that Lehtonen has skated with his teammates. He took part in the morning skate prior to Friday’s game against Calgary as well.
“[I am feeling] pretty good. I am getting close to normal. It’s been exciting to be with the guys again,” Lehtonen said. “Maybe yesterday things were a little fast for me. I think that is always the case when you are not practicing for a week. It takes a day or two to get back used to it. Today was better and we are moving in the right direction.”
Cody Eakin, who missed Friday’s game with a lower body injury, skated briefly on Saturday. It sounded as if he could be ready to go for Sunday’s game vs. Winnipeg.
“Eakin, I would anticipate him being ready to play,” Ruff said. “We got him out there, he felt pretty good and as a precaution I told him to go off and get an off-ice workout.”
Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski did not practice Saturday. He was hit with a puck in Friday’s game and was given the day to rest. He should be ready to play Sunday.
“It was an upper body contusion, outer extremity,” said Ruff. “He’s played a lot of hockey and the rest doesn’t hurt him at all.”
Forward Shawn Horcoff, who was injured when he was hit with a puck in Thursday’s practice, did not skate Saturday and will not travel with the team on the upcoming trip.
Stars hit the road
Following Saturday’s practice the Stars hit the road for a three-game road trip that will see them play at Winnipeg (Sunday), at Pittsburgh (Tuesday) and at Philadelphia (Thursday).
“All the teams we are bumping up against are in the same category as we are. They are desperate for points, they are desperate to put wins on the board and they are not easy buildings to play in,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We know we have to play well and we know we are going to have to clean up some of the issues we had last game (4-3 shootout loss to Calgary) and be ready to move forward.”
This will be the Stars’ first extended road trip since the Olympic break. Ten of the Stars’ final 16 games are on the road.
Stars practice lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole – Travis Morin – Colton Sceviour
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler – Ryan Garbutt
Ray Whitney – Chris Mueller – Alex Chiasson
Aaron Rome – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar
Kari Lehtonen (concussion)
Skated prior to practice: Cody Eakin (lower body)
Not skating: Alex Goligoski (maintenance/upper body), Shawn Horcoff (upper body), Rich Peverley (heart)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.