Published November 20, 2014
Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen said it took some time for him to get comfortable in his return to action following a layoff caused by a groin injury.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien feels comfortable no matter who starts in net for his streaking club.
Boston looks to keep up its tremendous pace this evening with an eighth straight victory as it visits Dallas.
The Bruins extended their current win streak with a 2-1 overtime victory at the Coyotes on Wednesday. Playing for the first time in five days, David Krejci scored early for Boston before the offense went cold. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, though, secured his club's 21st victory in 24 games when he scored 58 seconds into the extra frame.
Seidenberg's shot hit off Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris and in as the Bruins continued their second-longest win streak of the season. They opened up November with 10 straight wins and trail the Rangers by one point for the most in the Eastern Conference.
Goaltending has been the main reason for Boston's success. Tuukka Rask, the backup only in the sense of the word, made 21 saves versus the Coyotes and leads the league with a 1.61 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.
"It wasn't that many shots, but they had some good chances out there," said Rask. "Sometimes it's tough to stay sharp through 60 minutes and this was one of those nights."
Tim Thomas is right behind Rask with a 1.84 GAA and .943 save percentage. He has 16 wins on the season to Rask's eight.
Also helping is the fact that Boston is healthy. In fact, forward Rich Peverley could return for this game after missing the last two with an undisclosed injury.
Dallas will play its second contest since getting its No. 1 netminder back. Lehtonen sat out 12 straight games due to a groin injury before turning aside 25 shots in Thursday's 4-1 loss to Columbus.
Playing for the first time since Nov. 26, Lehtonen was outdueled by the Blue Jackets' Steve Mason, who made 36 saves.
"It was definitely fun to play. I think in the first half of the game we were all over them and then their goalie played great," said Lehtonen. "I had an okay game, but their goalie was phenomenal and I think that was a big key for tonight."
Vernon Fiddler scored the lone goal for the Stars, who sit a point back of the Sharks and Kings for first place in the Pacific Division despite losing four of their last six.
Sheldon Souray missed his second game in a row with a sprained ankle, while Stars captain Brenden Morrow is questionable after leaving Thursday's game early with a knee ailment.
Boston has won three straight over Dallas by a 14-4 margin, including a 6-3 home victory in the lone meeting between the clubs last year. Twelve different skaters for the Bruins logged a point, led by Patrice Bergeron's two goals and assist, while Rask made 30 saves.
The Bruins posted a 3-0 shutout in their last trip to Dallas on Oct. 16, 2009 behind a 27-save shutout by Thomas.