In the midst of a free fall, the Dallas Stars are now without
They’re hoping Andrew Raycroft can win for the first time in
nearly 11 months.
As injuries continue to mount, Raycroft will try to help the
Stars end a four-game road slide Monday night when they face the
Dallas (13-9-1) has endured a 2-6-1 stretch after starting the
season by winning 11 of its first 14.
The recent swoon includes a 3-0 loss at Colorado (10-12-1) on
Nov. 18. In that game, the Stars wasted an outstanding effort from
Lehtonen, who had a season-high 42 saves on 44 shots.
Now, they’ll have to cope with the goaltender’s absence after he
suffered a groin injury 5:31 into Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Phoenix.
Lehtonen, 13-4-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average, was placed on
injured reserve and will be replaced by Raycroft.
Raycroft stopped 33 of 36 shots Saturday, falling to 0-7-0 with
a 4.53 GAA in his last 11 games – seven starts – since making 26
saves in a 4-0 win at Minnesota on Jan. 9.
“Razor has been the guy before and that’s why we got him – to
have a situation where we felt like we have two good goalies,”
coach Glen Gulutzan told the Stars’ official website. “He’s going
to be the guy Monday for sure and if he has to carry the ball for a
week, I have no problems having him do that and I don’t think he
Raycroft has lost three of four meetings with the Avalanche. He
had 40 saves in a 5-0 defeat at Colorado on Nov. 6, 2010, in his
first game there since spending the 2008-09 season with the
He feels some consistent playing time should be a benefit.
“I’ve been a starter in the league and to be honest, feel more
comfortable with it most of the time. You can get into a bit of a
rhythm,” Raycroft said.
The Stars continue to play without captain Brenden Morrow (upper
body), defenseman Alex Goligoski (broken thumb) and right wing Adam
Burish (broken hand), while defenseman Trevor Daley (back) is also
expected to be out after getting hurt Saturday.
Left wing Vernon Fiddler suffered a groin injury against the
Coyotes and is day-to-day.
Increased production from Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson would be
Benn leads Dallas with 23 points, but has just five in the last
nine games and none in five of the last seven. He had three assists
in a 7-6 overtime win over the Avalanche on Nov. 4, setting up both
of Eriksson’s goals – including the game-winner.
Eriksson also assisted on Fiddler’s tally in that meeting, but
has just one of his team-leading 10 goals over the past seven
The Stars have lost seven of their past nine visits to
The Avalanche are trying to win back-to-back games for the first
time since a five-game winning streak Oct. 10-17. They beat
Edmonton 5-2 on Saturday to split the first four of this eight-game
Matt Duchene, the team leader with nine goals and 17 points, has
four goals and one assist in his last seven games. The center has
five goals and seven assists in 10 career meetings with Dallas,
including a hat trick in the Avs’ overtime defeat earlier this
Stefan Elliott will try to build on his memorable NHL debut
Saturday, when he scored the game-winner for his first goal. He was
recalled from Lake Erie of the AHL to replace fellow blueliner Erik
Johnson, who is on IR with a groin injury.