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VANCOUVER - Kari Lehtonen got to work early against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesda
VANCOUVER - Kari Lehtonen got to work early against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night. Matt Breida Womens Jersey .The Dallas goalie stoned Radim Vrbata just over 30 seconds into the first period, and stared down a number of other great chances in the opening 20 minutes in the Stars 2-0 victory.Thats always huge when you are able to make a great first save, said Lehtonen, who made 27 stops to pick up his second shutout of the season. That gave me lots of confidence and that carried later on in the game.Dallas has been dreadful defensively this season, averaging an NHL-worst 3.52 goals against per game coming into Wednesday, but played a solid final 40 minutes to hand Vancouver its fifth straight loss.A lot of the time you point to your goaltender whether you win it or you lose it, said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff. When you lose you often point at him and when you win its the guy thats going to get the credit. He made a couple big saves when we came out a little bit flat and I thought that really picked the team up.Dallas (12-13-5) has wobbled through the start of the season with losing streaks of seven, four and three games, but Lehtonen — who sports a .906 save percentage and a 2.97 GAA — hasnt been terrible. Hes just been hung out to dry a lot of nights.There has been some rough games and some games I have not done a great job so it kind of goes hand in hand, said Lehtonen. Some nights players make it really easy for me and some nights I have to make some great saves, but thats just part of the job.Lehtonen said hes been guilty of trying to do too much at times and as a result, finds himself out of position in the crease.I think I should be more patient and play a more simple game when things get harder, he said. I was able to do that today, always wait where they are shooting and then trust that I can be fast and make the saves and it worked out tonight. I just have to keep doing that.The Stars answered Lehtonens great first period on Wednesday with a much-improved effort, holding the Canucks to just four shots in the second.He gave us a fighting chance in the first period to win a hockey game and the second period we answered the bell by going after them pretty good, said Ruff. Weve been working hard playing defence in the offensive zone, controlling the puck and zone time. I thought we did a lot better job of that. We had some shifts that we totally finished in the offensive zone.The Stars — with a potent offence lead by Tyler Seguin — arent by any means out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, but an improved defensive game will be key to them making a run at the post-season.And so will a lot more nights like this one from Lehtonen.When you struggle and bad or tough goals go in its hard, said Ruff. The hope tank for the team goes down (but) when your goalies playing great you think you can beat anybody.A counter punch off a big save is often one of the deadliest things in the game. George Kittle Youth Jersey .The seventh-seeded Raonic was scheduled to play U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan, but was replaced in the Group B pool by Spanish substitute David Ferrer.Raonic, who was 0-2 at the year-end event, said he suffered the injury late in the first set of Tuesdays 6-3, 7-6 loss to Murray. Solomon Thomas 49ers Jersey . On Saturday night, Winnipegs strong offense was again accompanied by some fantastic pitching which gave the Fish a commanding victory. http://www.49ersrookiestore.com/49ers-Dee-Ford-Jersey/ . Ferrer will play Mikhail Youzhny on Sunday after he defeated Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-4 in an all-Russian semifinal. "Youzhny is a good player," Ferrer said.ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild were reeling as last year ended. Star Zach Parise was on injured reserve. Coach Mike Yeos job was in jeopardy. Then the problems really piled up. Starting goalie Josh Harding was out of action again with an illness. Captain Mikko Koivu broke his ankle. Defenceman Jared Spurgeon got hurt, too. Somehow, the Wild survived -- and thrived. "Ah, it was a piece of cake," Yeo said last week, smiling wryly. "I slept like a baby." With an 11-4-2 record in 17 games since the calendar turned to 2014, the Wild have taken control of the first of two wild-card spots in the Western Conference playoff race. With 69 points, theyre ahead of Phoenix and Dallas, who have 64 apiece and have played one fewer game. Eight of those 11 wins were in regulation. "All I wanted to do is I wanted our players to look at me and say, OK, hes got confidence. OK, well, we should have confidence," Yeo said. "That was the one thing that I wanted. And I did believe in the group that we had still. And I did believe in the game that we played." The Wild still have had trouble scoring, ranking 25th in the NHL with 2.36 goals per game. With Hardings return unknown and Niklas Backstrom injured and ineffective at different times this season, Darcy Kuemper has taken over in the net. Relying on a rookie goalie can be a risk. But Parise is back in form from his broken foot. Spurgeon has returned. Koivu is skipping the Olympics and expected at full strength when the schedule resumes on Feb. 27. Nino Niederreiter, acquired in a draft-day trade, has given the offence a boost. Mikael Granlund has bounced back from a rough rookie year. "I think weve got good character," leading scorer Jason Pominville said. "A lot of guys stepped up in different situations. Itt wasnt easy at times. Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey. You could tell that we were missing some of our key guys, but I think other guys kind of found a way to adjust their game and get adjusted to the level of our play that you have to be successful night in and night out." During Yeos tenure as coach, the Wild have seemed to play better in less-than-ideal circumstances than when in tip-top shape. "Knowing our group, knowing competitors in general, they love a challenge," Yeo said. "So I think we all do." League realignment was welcomed by the Wild, for enhanced regional rivalries to better entice fans and more games in their own time zone. But this season, the new look has made their post-season bid more difficult. Only the top three teams in each division are guaranteed a playoff spot, and St. Louis (84 points), Chicago (84) and Colorado (79) are comfortably ahead of the Wild, who have only 23 games left. "Weve just got to focus on winning games and when we play Colorado, try to beat them and try to lessen that cushion that they have on us and try to slowly creep up on them," Pominville said. Added Parise: "Thats hard to gain that many points. But you never know. ... Youve got to push the teams down that are below you, and we have to take care of ourselves." The non-Olympians on the roster will reconvene for practice next week. The Wild will have to be careful not to lose the momentum they built, with 21 days between games. "Much the same as out of the lockout, its how can you get yourself game ready?" Yeo said. "Making sure that youre ready to execute and play at the pace that you need to play at, making sure that youre ready to battle at the level you need to, and making sure that the conditioning is at the level that you need it at." Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '
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