Stargazing: Stars Face Islanders Wednesday

The following is a news release published by the Dallas Stars, Dec. 12, 2017.


The Dallas Stars and the New York Islanders meet on Wednesday night at Barclays Center for the second and final contest of the 2017-18 season series. Dallas recorded a 5-0 victory in the first meeting of the 2017-18 campaign on Nov. 10 at American Airlines Center. Goaltender Ben Bishop logged his first shutout in a Stars sweater, stopping all 14 shots he faced. Defenseman John Klingberg tied his season-high with three points (1-2=3) and defenseman Esa Lindell registered a season-best two points (1-1=2). The Stars enter Wednesday's game in Brooklyn looking to record the club's first win at Barclays Center (0-2-0) and snap a four-game road losing streak (0-4-0) against the Islanders. Last season, the Islanders shut out the Stars, 3-0, on Jan. 19, 2017 at Barclays Center. Dallas last recorded a road win over New York on Dec. 15, 2011, defeating the Islanders, 3-2, at Nassau Coliseum. Forward Jason Spezza has recorded 37 points (17-20=37) in 37 career games against the Islanders and leads all Stars skaters in points, goals, assists and games played against New York.

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Captain Jamie Benn registered an assist (0-1-=1) on Monday night against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Benn has inked the scoresheet in two consecutive games (1-1=2) and has points in five of his last six games (1-4=5). The captain ranks second on the Stars with 26 points (12-14=26) in 31 regular-season contests, ranking second in goals (12) and sharing third in assists (14). Additionally, Benn shares first on the club with nine power play points (4-5=9) this season and second in power play goals (4). On the road this season, Benn leads all Stars skaters with 15 points (7-8=15) in 17 games and ranks first on the club in road goals (7). In the first meeting of the season against the Islanders on Nov. 10, he notched an assist (0-1=1) with a +2 plus/minus rating. The native of Victoria, B.C. has recorded points in two-straight games (2-1=3) against the Islanders and has five points (3-2=5) in six career road games against them. The captain has registered 10 points (5-5=10) in 13 career games against New York.


Goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 24-of-25 shots he faced on Monday to help lead the Stars to a 2-1 shootout victory over the New York Rangers. The netminder improved his record to 3-1-1 over his last five road games, sporting a 1.75 goals against average and a .933 save percentage over that span. Lehtonen appeared in his 623rd career NHL game on Monday night, moving him into a tie with Miikka Kiprusoff for 40th place all-time in games played by a goaltender. Lehtonen also tied Kiprusoff for most games played by a Finnish-born goaltender in NHL history. Additionally, he won his 299th career contest and now shares 32nd all-time in wins by an NHL goaltender with Carolina's Cam Ward. In 11 appearances during the 2017-18 campaign, Lehtonen has earned a 4-4-1 record with a 2.49 GAA and a .909 SV%. The native of Helsinki, Finland holds a 7-6-1 career record against the Islanders with a 3.67 GAA, a .900 SV% and two shutouts.


Defenseman Julius Honka potted a goal (1-0=1) against the New York Rangers on Monday for his first point of the 2017-18 campaign and his second career NHL goal. The blueliner lit the lamp for the first time since April 4, 2017 vs. Arizona (1-0=1) and recorded the first road goal of his NHL career. In 10 regular-season games in 2017-18, Honka has one goal (1-0=1) with 12 shots on goal. He made his NHL debut last season on Nov. 21, 2016 vs. Minnesota, recording an assist (0-1=1) in 21:01 time on ice. Over 26 career NHL contests, he has recorded six points (2-4=6) with 46 shots on goal. The native of Jyvaskyla, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

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