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Kari Lehtonen returns to Dallas lineup tonight

Dec 16, 2010, 5:56 PM EDT

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The Dallas Stars have been able to make do without Kari Lehtonen of late but tonight they’ll have the Finnish goaltender back between the pipes when they take on the Sharks. Lehtonen has been out with a wonky back and while some Stars fans got nervous having the oft-injured goalie out of the lineup, the injury had nothing to do with issues he’s had in the past while with Atlanta.

Lehtonen last played on December 6th, a shootout loss to Columbus. Since then, Dallas has gone 2-2-0 with Raycroft getting the start in all those games. When he was good, he was solid winning those two games in shootouts. When he was bad, the Stars made it look worse allowing five goals in losses to Chicago and Phoenix. In the Phoenix game, Raycroft was pulled midway through the third period after allowing five goals. Getting full stability and flexibility in goal is key for the Stars to stay on top of things in the Pacific Division.

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