The Dallas Stars are on a roll, mainly due to solid goaltending
and their recently stellar play on the road.
That may not bode well for a Calgary Flames team that’s having
trouble winning at home.
Dallas can win its fifth straight game by sending Calgary to its
sixth loss in seven home games Wednesday night.
The Stars (7-5-1) earned a third straight road victory after
Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves to lead his team to a 4-1 win at
Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Lehtonen has a 1.77 goals-against average and .940 save
percentage while winning his last five starts, including each
during Dallas’ four-game winning streak.
“We are just trying to play hard right now,” Lehtonen said. “We
know we are not the most skilled team out there with the biggest
names. We are a hard-working club and everybody in this room feels
we have a chance to win on any given night. We have done well the
last few games here and hopefully we can keep it going.”
It’s unclear, though, if Lehtonen or Richard Bachman, who made
32 saves in a 2-0 loss to Phoenix on Feb. 2 in his only start, will
get the nod as the Stars play their second game in as many
Dallas is 1-14-2 in the second night of back-to-back sets since
Jaromir Jagr’s goal Tuesday extended his team lead to nine
points while Ryan Garbutt, Brenden Dillon and Eric Nystrom also
scored for Dallas.
“It’s up to us how well we do,” Jagr said. “I don’t think we
have the kind of team that can allow itself to play up-and-down
hockey. We are a good cycling team and we have the
Calgary is 5-1-2 in its last eight meetings with the Stars and
3-0-1 in the last four home matchups, but it is coming off a 2-1
shootout loss to Minnesota on Monday that dropped it to 1-3-2 at
home this season.
Coach Bob Hartley switched up his lines after Saturday’s 5-1
loss in Vancouver, most notably teaming captain Jarome Iginla with
Jiri Hudler and rookie Ben Street for a good portion of Monday’s
Hudler scored, though Iginla, who was drafted 11th overall by
Dallas in 1995 but was traded to Calgary before ever donning a
Stars sweater, remained with only one goal.
“Our fans certainly deserved that win (Monday). We battled, but
not as consistently as I would have liked,” Hartley said. “It
seems that we dominated some parts and they dominated us in some
Leland Irving played well in net, though, making 23 saves in his
third straight start in place of Miikka Kiprusoff, who will be out
at least two more weeks because of a sprained knee ligament.
He’s 1-1-1 with a 2.62 GAA in four total appearances.
“Obviously we’ve got to win some games,” Irving said. “At the
end of the day it’s a results-driven business and I’ll do
everything I can to prepare myself to give these guys a chance to
Hartley gave Irving a vote of confidence after Calgary claimed
goaltender Joey MacDonald off waivers from Detroit on Monday.
“We’re going to keep riding Leland,” Hartley said. “He’s
Iginla had two assists to help overcome a pair of goals from
Jamie Benn in Calgary’s 5-4 victory March 26 in the most recent