Up next: James Neal, Brad Richards and the Dallas Stars

[SBN Stars blog: Defending Big D]


Record: 28-23-12

Scorers: Brad Richards (17g, 51a), Loui Eriksson (24g, 31a), James Neal (24g, 22a)

A lot of things are happening in Dallas lately with regards to the roster.  Or maybe I should say even more will go down in the offseason.  For the time being, Marty Turco remains the number-one goalie but all indications would suggest that he is gone after this season as he's set to be a UFA come July.  Many have argued that if the Stars wanted to re-sign him to any kind of deal they would've done so already.  Perhaps in an effort to stress this point (without actually saying it), the Stars traded for oft-inujred and former Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen before the Olympic break.  While Lehtonen's contract also expires in July, he is a restricted free agent and therefore the Stars can perhaps look to hold onto him before other, likely unwilling teams, make an attempt to pick him up.

While Marc-Andre Fleury struggled on the ice at Madison Square Garden Thursday night, Turco was doing just the same in Dallas.  After just over one period of play, 11 shots and four goals against, Turco was sent to the bench in favor of Lehtonen.  Riding out the remainder of the game, Lehtonen allowed an additional two goals, putting the final score at 6-1 in favor of St. Louis.

Brandon Worley of NBC's newest hockey blog Pro Hockey Talk (and formerly of SBN's Defending Big D), says Lehtonen will get the nod.  To quote Worley, "He's career 6-2-2 against Pens, 2.53 GAA."  Not sure exactly how many of those wins came before his body decided to pull a move out of Rick DiPietro's newest book, A Goalie's Guide to The IR.

In case you haven't noticed the Penguins and Devils are still jostling for first place in the Atlantic.  The race will likely remain close heading into next week, when the Pens and Devs play a two-in-three at Prudential Center in Newark.  At that point there's still a chance the standings remain similar, but the opportunity for one team to at least pull ahead is a possibility.  Here's to hoping that team is the Pens.

But first, let's focus on this one.  Puck and thread drop early today at 1:00.

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