Dallas Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen isn’t shy in acknowledging that winning his first career postseason series has boosted his confidence to some degree.
"I'm still the same guy, but I was able to be there in a winning series for the first time, and that's important," Lehtonen said, per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. "I feel my game has been in a good place for the last two and a half months, so I think that gives me confidence. Then, when you have confidence and you get that result, it tells me to keep doing what I'm doing."
Lehtonen started the first three games of the series, shutting out the Wild in Game 1, before giving way to Antti Niemi in Games 4 and 5. He returned for Game 6 and held the Wild off for a 5-4 series-clinching victory on Sunday afternoon.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff believes, defensive breakdowns aside, the goaltending, from both Lehtonen and Niemi, was solid all through the series with the Wild.
"Both goaltenders got us wins inside the series, a lot like the regular season," Ruff said. “I think they both held up well when it comes right down to it. I think as a team, we broke down a couple times defensively, which hurt both goaltenders. So when you look at a six-game series, I thought they had a heck of a series for us."