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With Lehtonen healthy, Stars return Nilstorp to AHL

Mar 17, 2014, 11:07 AM EDT

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Dallas appears ready for Kari Lehtonen to make his return from a concussion, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

The Stars returned third-string goalie Cristopher Nilstorp to AHL Texas on Monday, one day after Nilstorp had to make a relief appearance of Tim Thomas in Sunday’s ugly 7-2 loss to the Jets.

Thomas was lit up for four goals on 16 shots in yesterday’s loss, and was hooked just 29 seconds into the second period after Olli Jokinen scored to give the Jets a 4-2 lead. The 39-year-old veteran hasn’t exactly been stellar in his four games in a Stars sweater — going 2-1-1 with a .892 save percentage and 3.31 GAA — so Dallas will be keen to get Lehtonen back in goal for the playoff push.

The Finnish netminder has been out of action since suffering a concussion versus Minnesota on Mar. 8. Dallas, meanwhile, is currently tied with Phoenix on 75 points but holds the final wild card spot via tiebreaker (fewer games played). Vancouver sits just three back of the Stars and Coyotes, with 72 points.

It’s unclear if Lehtonen will be selected to start for Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh, but the Nilstorp reassignment means he’s eligible to be.

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