The groin injury Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen suffered Nov. 26 was overshadowed by, well, just about every other significant injury in the NHL this season. And there have been a few.
But let the record show that the Stars were tied for first place in the division when the injury struck Lehtonen just 5:31 into the Stars' 3-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Few goalies had been playing more often than the 28-year-old Finn, who was 13-4-1 at the time.
When Lehtonen returned to the lineup last Thursday -- one month and three days later -- it was definitely a new day in the Pacific Division. The Stars needed a win but didn't get it; their 4-1 loss to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets left them in second place behind the surging San Jose Sharks.
"The first half we were all over them, but their goalie (Steve Mason) played good," Lehtonen said after the game. "That was a big key for them. I had an OK game, but their goalie was just phenomenal."