After an opening night loss, the Dallas Stars rattled off two wins and looked like a team that could make some noise in the Western Conference. However, a lot of their success this season is going to depend on a healthy Kari Lehtonen in net.
Lehtonen left Friday night's 4-1 win over Winnipeg after 34:30 of perfection in net with an apparent lower-body injury. Saturday, the Stars called up 2010 first-round pick Jack Campbell and listed Lehtonen as day-to-day.
Dan Ellis, who would likely start most games while Lehtonen is out, came on in relief Saturday night and made 22 saves, while allowing one goal to preserve the win.
The Stars are likely to give up a lot of shots. Ellis is an experienced backup, but a significant step down from what Lehtonen brings to the table. If the Stars' starter is out for an extended period of time, it could put the team behind early in a season with a lot of optimism.
Through three games this year, Lehtonen has posted a .953 save percentage and 1.57 goals-against average. He is undoubtedly a key to Dallas' season and they'll need the 29-year-old goaltender back sooner than later.