Yeah, that was one brutal period by Kari Lehtonen and the Stars

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Antti Niemi hasn’t officially replaced Kari Lehtonen in the Dallas Stars’ net heading into the second period of Game 7, but that’s probably a mere formality.

(Update: no surprise, Niemi replaced Lehtonen.)

Robby Fabbri‘s 1-0 goal was the least ugly in a brutal of the three goals that Lehtonen allowed in a wheels-falling-off opening frame in which the St. Louis Blues went up 3-0.

The Stars actually got bailed out when what seemed like a Vladimir Tarasenko goal – and an awful one in that – was killed off by an offside goal review. Paul Stastny then made it 2-0 with a goal that wasn’t a whole lot better.

Patrik Berglund then scored from way downtown to leave the Stars stunned going into the locker room, with observers wondering if Stars coach Lindy Ruff was merely hoping to get to the intermission down 2-0.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that the Pittsburgh Penguins went up 3-0 against the Washington Capitals last night, and while Pittsburgh won, the Caps pushed the game to OT.

There’s always the chance that the Stars could push back.

There’s also no denying that Lehtonen shoulders a ton of the blame in the Stars putting themselves in a huge hole.

So far, things haven’t been much easier for Niemi:

Ouch.