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Stars get Roy back, expect a lot of Lehtonen

Feb 3, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

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Derek Roy Getty Images

January was a bumpy month for the Dallas Stars, but they hope February will be more stable. They also expect to see a lot more Kari Lehtonen in net.

The team provided some promising updates to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, including word that center Derek Roy should return from a groin injury tomorrow against the Colorado Avalanche.

The 29-year-old pivot hasn’t been in the lineup since a Jan. 24 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks, which was the night Jamie Benn‘s signing was announced. Roy seems excited to see how Dallas’ planned one-two punch at center will finally look.

“He’s a really good player and he moves well for a big man. He’s got great hands, and I’m anxious to get out there and see what we can do,” Roy said of Benn. “We have to be strong in the center position. We need to be able to control the puck, get the puck to the net, and just control the game.”

Finishing chances will be tougher without Ray Whitney, who is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

They might be tough to score on in February, though, as the team plans on playing Lehtonen,29, repeatedly this month.

“You look at the way February unfolds after tonight, and I see Kari Lehtonen playing almost every game,” Head coach Glen Gulutzan said. “He claimed himself today — and I could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes — that he is not feeling well. It’s that time of year and [we] want to make sure he is ready because February is going to be a Kari Lehtonen month.”

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