Lehtonen, Stars shut out Sharks
DALLAS -- Curtis McKenzie scored the game's lone goal, and Kari Lehtonen stopped all 30 shots he faced to earn his second shutout of the season and 36th of his career for the Dallas Stars in a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night at American Airlines Center.
Lehtonen recorded his first shutout since Nov. 3 at Colorado for Dallas (29-33-10). The Stars improved to 19-12-6 at home.
The Sharks (42-23-7) were shut out for just the fifth time this season. San Jose has now lost three consecutive games for the second time this season, the first time since November.
Following a scoreless opening period where the Sharks and Stars combined for just 14 shots, McKenzie redirected an Adam Cracknell wrister for his fifth goal of the season with 5:06 remaining in the second period. McKenzie was dead center in front of the Sharks net when he got his stick on Cracknell's flick from the deep left point.
Dallas had one prime opportunity in the opening 20 minutes, but Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell, who stopped 19 of 20 shots, denied Cody Eakin's one-timer at close range with 6:03 remaining before the first intermission.
Dell had another big save with 1:00 remaining in the second period when he turned away a Brett Ritchie shot off the rush with a glove save at the near post. Dell left the ice with 1:57 remaining.
NOTES: The Sharks scratched D Dylan DeMelo, RW Jannik Hansen (undisclosed), C Melker Karlsson and C Chris Tierney (illness), who missed his first game of season. ... The Stars scratched D Stephen Johns, LW Antoine Roussel (hand) and C Jason Spezza (back). ... Sharks D Brenden Dillon and D David Schlemko are former Stars. ... Stars G Antti Niemi once played in San Jose. ... Monday was Military Appreciation Night. A local serviceman performed the ceremonial puck drop, another veteran was given a service dog during the first intermission and another a car during the second period. ... San Jose is starting a four-game road trip with all games against clubs from the Central Division. ... These former Pacific Division rivals meet again Friday evening in Dallas.