Goalie nods: Problem solved? Stars give streaking Lehtonen third straight start

After a forgettable month of February in which he posted an .898 save percentage — moderately better than Antti Niemi‘s .870 — Kari Lehtonen is having himself a pretty good March.

And tonight, he’ll look to build upon it.

Lehtonen, who’s stopped 56 of 60 shots over his past three games — which included a relief appearance for Niemi against Nashville last week — will make his third straight start when the Stars take on the Canadiens in Montreal.

Goaltending has been an issue in Dallas this season. Despite a combined cap hit of $10.4 million — no other team has committed that much cap space to goaltending this season — Lehtonen and Niemi have largely underwhelmed, and currently sit tied for 24th in the NHL with a combined .903 save percentage.

Despite this, Dallas has emerged as one of the better teams in the Western Conference and was, at one point, tops in the Central Division. But some poor defensive play and inconsistent goaltending has seen the Stars fall back into the pack — heading into tonight’s action, they’re tied on 87 points with Chicago, and are just two up on third-place St. Louis.

For the Habs, Ben Scrivens is in goal.

Elsewhere…

— With Henrik Lundqvist still banged up, the Rangers are expected to go with Antti Raanta tonight in Buffalo. Robin Lehner, who’s been quite good since returning from an ankle injury, goes for the Sabres.

— Good matchup in Brooklyn tonight as Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins take on Jaroslav Halak and the Isles.

Andrew Hammond gets another start for Ottawa, in place of the injured Craig Anderson. Cam Ward goes for the ‘Canes.

— As Brough wrote about earlier, Jimmy Howard gets another start for the Wings ahead of the struggling Petr Mrazek. The Jackets are going with Joonas Korpisalo.

— Looks like Jonas Gustavsson will go for Boston tonight after Tuukka Rask beat the Panthers on Monday. Ben Bishop appears likely for the Bolts, after Andrei Vasilevskiy lost to Philly last night.

— Appears as though Pekka Rinne will take on Ondrej Palevec as the Preds play in Winnipeg.

— After Martin Jones‘s terrific win over Calgary last night, sounds like James Reimer will start for the Sharks tonight in Edmonton. Cam Talbot, the NHL’s reigning first star of the week, goes for the Oilers.

 

Scroll Down For: