Kari Lehtonen #32 of the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on February 8, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.
(February 7, 2013 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Stars put Lehtonen on IR, will miss at least 2 games

The Dallas Stars have announced that 29-year-old starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen is on the injured reserve list with a groin injury.

Lehtonen has been a key part of the Dallas Stars’ solid start. He’s posted a 7-2-1 record, 2.12 GAA, and .934 save percentage in 12 contests in 2013.

The move is retroactive to Friday, when the Finnish netminder left the Stars 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the first period. That means that he will be ineligible to play tonight against Calgary and versus Vancouver on Thursday.

“He is still day-to-day, lower body,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We looked at him today, and certainly he has had that injury before in Phoenix last year, but this one is not as severe.”

He was sidelined for 12 contests due to a groin injury early in the 2011-12 campaign.

With Lehtonen unavailable, Richard Bachman will play between the pipes today. Bachman has a 3.89 GAA and .861 save percentage in four games this season.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.