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Lehtonen, Stars steal one from Canucks

Nov 17, 2013, 10:58 PM EDT

Are the Dallas Stars ready to be playoff contenders this season?

That remains to be seen, but they’ve been hot lately, winning three in a row after Kari Lehtonen dragged them to a 2-1 victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The Stars have now won six out of their last seven games while the Canucks dropped four in a row and five of their last six.

You can’t beat up Vancouver for a lack of effort, though. They showered Lehtonen with 43 shots, and as the Score captured in this GIF, seemed to beat him one other time tonight:

source:

Ryan Kesler presented the right “close isn’t good enough” line to the Vancouver Metro News’ (and PHT’s) Cam Tucker:

“I think we can keep saying we’re getting shots, we’re getting chances,” Kesler said. “We’ve got to start burying those chances.”

The Stars will take it, though. They play three of their next four in Dallas after this perfect three-game road trip.

  1. gbfb88 - Nov 17, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Only Chicago, Minnesota, and Phoenix (8-1-1 each), have been better than Dallas (7-2-1) over the last 10, and Kari Lehtonen is a huge part of that.

    Lehtonen boasts a 2.08 GAA, and a .929 SV% in 14 games (9-3-2). As big as Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have been for the Stars, Kari is the real reason Dallas is competing for a playoff birth this season.

    If not for his injury forcing Dan Ellis into action for 4 games (1-3-0) early in the year, Dallas could be even higher in the standings.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Nov 17, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Their biggest problem right now is that they are playing in the toughest division in the league. Sagarin is a stats-geek that hosts statistical rankings, including strength of schedule. Stars were ranked 12th going into tonight, and may be higher tomorrow.

      Hawks and Blues are now leading the league in % of possible points, and I expect them to finish the season 1st and 2nd in the central.

      So Stars will duke it out with the Wild and Aves for the 3rd and 4th seed.

      Vagaries of divisions. Move them to the Metro, and they’d be up at the top – similar % of possible points to the Pens and Caps, but the Pens have a SOS of 30, Caps 28th.

      http://www.usatoday.com/sports/nhl/sagarin/

      • jovocop2112 - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Toughest Division? Have you seen the Pacific?

      • dallasstars9 - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        The West is tough, and the Stars are used to playing in a tough division having previously played in the Pacific….

  2. canucks30 - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Offensively, the Canucks are the Sedins, Kesler, and a bunch of guys.

    They couldn’t score against Boston, LA, or San Jose in the playoffs and they still can’t score against good defensive teams.

    It doesn’t help that their powerplay “sucks” according to Torts and has since June of 2011.

    As it stands, the Canucks are a good but not great team and nowadays that doesn’t get you into the post-season.

    • davebabychreturns - Nov 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM

      Not in the West anyways. The Canucks would be tied for the Metropolitan divsion lead and 3rd in the Atlantic division and that’s assuming the same schedule as they’ve had (ie. 4 games so far against the Sharks, etc).

      • gbfb88 - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        And everyone was complaining about how much easier it would be to make the Western conference playoffs…

  3. darksidecowboy - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Kari Let-none-in is the rock that the Stars need to succeed. He faces way too many shots and has highlight reel saves every night. As a Stars fans we always feel good knowing he’s in the net, however we all know that the next injury is around the corner. Hopefully Kari can keep going and Ellis can play solid when he gets his next shot.

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