DALLAS -- When the Dallas Stars open the shortened, 48-game version of the 2013 NHL season on Saturday night against Phoenix at American Airlines Center, they will do so with a familiar face in goal in veteran Kari Lehtonen.
Of course, the Finnish netminder has firmly established himself as Dallas' No. 1 option between the pipes ever since he came over in a trade with Atlanta in 2010. And except for an occasional injury here and there, he has been the man in goal for the Stars ever since.
Lehtonen, now 29, comes off a season where he started 59 games, going 32-22-4 with a 2.33 goals-against-average and four shutouts. Of course, he did miss a stretch of the season in November and December 2011 with a groin injury, which ironically enough was suffered against these same Coyotes, but other than that stretch off the ice it was pretty much smooth sailing for him last season.
Stars fans remember that while he was off the ice last season, it was the emergence of rookie Richard Bachman, ...