If the Dallas Stars are going to head into the Olympic break with some momentum, they’ll need to show some improvement on the road. Visiting the struggling Calgary Flames after the acquisition of Kari Lehtonen(notes) could help.
The Stars might have Lehtonen in net Thursday night as they try for their second road victory in almost a month when they face the Flames.
Dallas (26-21-12) is among the worst road teams in the league, going 8-15-7 while dropping 13 of its last 14—with its only victory coming at NHL-worst Edmonton on Jan. 22.
Lehtonen hasn’t played this season following two back surgeries, but he was recalled Sunday from a conditioning stint with Chicago of the AHL, going 1-1-2 with a 2.67 goals-against average.
Lehtonen went 94-83-17 with a 2.87 GAA for the Thrashers, setting franchise records for wins and shutouts (14).
“We get a goaltender. That gives us three now, so that’s a situation that we’ll have to deal with,” coach Marc Crawford said referring to starter Marty Turco(notes) and backup Alex Auld(notes). “We’ve got to make considerations because our other two guys are both free agents at the end of the year.”
Turco made 37 saves Tuesday in losing 4-3 in a shootout to Chicago in the opener of a three-game trip. He is 2-10-3 with a 3.64 GAA in 15 road games, while Auld has won once in his last eight away from home.
“We’re not disappointed with getting a point, but sure would have liked to get two,” Crawford said.
After facing Calgary, the Stars visit Phoenix on Saturday before the NHL takes a two-week break for the Olympics in Vancouver.
The Stars took the other two meetings with Auld in net, winning 5-2 at Pengrowth Saddledome on Oct. 9 to improve to 4-1-0 in their last five visits.
The Flames, who host Anaheim on Saturday before the Olympic break, are trying to show some improvement at home after dropping seven of nine there while getting shut out three times.
They capped a 1-1-1 trip with a 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Tuesday.
“I’m not happy at all,” coach Brent Sutter said. “That game was there for us to get some points and we just didn’t play a good enough game after the first 28 minutes to expect to win.”
Iginla, the team leader with 24 goals and 54 points, has struggled to find the back of the net, scoring four goals in 23 games and none in the last five. He had two assists against the Senators and has four goals and three assists in the past four meetings with Dallas.