Lehtonen feels better, but Ellis in for Stars Saturday

Dallas Stars would-be No. 1 Kari Lehtonen told the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika that he’s feeling much better, but Dan Ellis will get his fourth consecutive start on Saturday.

The Stars visit the Los Angeles Kings tonight and then play against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, so we’ll see if Lehtonen gets back into the lineup tomorrow.

Ellis, 33, won his first game of 2013-14 on Thursday, stopping 32 shots as the Stars gave the San Jose Sharks their first loss in a 4-3 shootout.

Lehtonen, 29, is 2-1-0 with a sterling .953 save percentage so far this season, so the Stars would probably like to see him return as soon as possible.

That being said, the Stars also hope Ellis will “push” Lehtonen in 2013-14.

Speaking of Sunday’s Ducks-Stars game, the OC Register’s Eric Stephens reports that Viktor Fasth will miss that contest with a lower-body injury, so it will be Jonas Hiller vs. Ellis or Lehtonen.

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
Leave a comment

Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.

Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.

(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)

Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.

Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
1 Comment

The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.