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Wednesday update: Lehtonen day to day with upper-body injury

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen wasn’t on the ice for Wednesday’s practice in Farmers Branch. Officially, he is listed as day to day with an upper-body injury.

Lehtonen was injured early in the third period of Tuesday night’s game with Ottawa when he collided with Stars defenseman John Klingberg in the Dallas crease.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff did not provide any specific details about the injury.

“We’ll know more in the next couple days,” Ruff said. “I expect him to be back on the ice in a couple days.”

Ruff did say he expects the Stars to call up a goalie with Lehtonen expected to miss some time.

“Unless something changes, I would anticipate that,” Ruff said.

Texas Stars goaltender Jack Campbell would be the likely candidate. Texas is in California on a four-game road trip and plays Wednesday night at San Diego.

Dallas has back-to-back games coming up this weekend, playing Vancouver in Dallas on Friday and then at Minnesota on Saturday.

One of the benefits of the Stars having two No. 1 goaltenders is they have a built-in solution for injuries. Right now, it is Antti Niemi who can carry the load if Lehtonen is out for an extended period.

“That still doesn’t mean he is going to play back-to-back. We’ll take that step when it comes,” Ruff said. “Every team gets challenged with injuries and here is our first challenge. We’ve got to rise to the occasion. Everybody’s opportunity usually comes at somebody’s expense, and now it is a bigger opportunity for somebody.”

*Ruff said that defenseman Jason Demers, who missed Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury, is ready to return. Demers was back to his usual spot in Wednesday’s practice, skating on the second pair with Johnny Oduya.

*With Lehtonen not practicing, the Stars brought in Kenny Carroll as the second goaltender for Wednesday’s practice in Farmers Branch. Carroll runs the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Richardson.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff offered some more thoughts on Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to Ottawa. The Stars outshot the Senators 37-20, but Dallas miscues proved costly.

“We didn’t get outplayed. We didn’t get outskated. But we definitely got outsmarted,” Ruff said. “Our puck decisions were at a low for the year and our puck management wasn’t good. As I said last night, we looked a little bit like last year’s team with the same as last year’s results. We probably gave up as many rush chances in that game from breakaways and odd-numbered rushes and giveaways as we had in the last four or five games. We’ve been doing so well, and we’ve been able to answer every loss with playing a strong game afterward, that I have all the confidence that we just reset and go at it. I said last night I was embarrassed about it because it looked like it could have been 9-4 by the end of the night. That’s the part I was a little frustrated with.”

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Mattias JanmarkJason SpezzaPatrick Eaves

Antoine RousselCody EakinValeri Nichushkin

Colton Sceviour/Travis MoenVernon FiddlerAles Hemsky

Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jyrki JokipakkaJordie Benn/Jamie Oleksiak

Antti Niemi

Not skating: Kari Lehtonen (upper body)

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 reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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