There’s no question tonight’s game 3 win in Dallas was big for the Stars. They certainly couldn’t afford to go down 3 games to zero against the top-seeded Ducks. The Stars have played pretty good hockey thus far in the series they just haven’t seen the results.
On Tuesday they finally saw the results.
Jamie Benn scored his second goal of the series and young Valeri Nichushkin scored his first postseason goal of his career. Cody Eakin’s line continued their brilliant play frustrating the Ducks all night. There was excellent puck handling, smart decisions, and aggressive play that all added up to a big win for the Dallas Stars. But nothing was bigger than the play of goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
The Dallas Stars needed their best player to be Kari. They can do anything these playoffs if Kari plays to his full potential. On Monday night he did. It was huge for him and it was huge for the Stars.
At age 30, Kari Lehtonen isn’t exactly a young buck. That’s why it was troubling to see he was still looking for his first ever postseason win. Up until Monday night his limited playoff experience was a pretty unsettling 0-4 record.
On Monday night Kari was focused and engaged early. He faced 37 shots and stopped 37 shots. He was huge for the Stars when they needed him to be huge. Everyone knew he could do it and he finally proved it. Now if he can just continue, the Stars have a chance to really do some damage these Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Sport DFW on twitter @TheRealSportDFW Check out more of Reid’s articles here: http://sportdfw.com/author/reidhanson/