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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Post-game observations from an 8-2 win

By Dennis Hall

The Stars were effusive in their praise of goalie Kari Lehtonen after Tuesday's 8-2 win.

"We were good in all areas tonight, and it starts with your goaltending," said coach Marc Crawford, who indicated that Lehtonen will start again Thursday against Philadelphia. "That was a tremendous effort by Kari Lehtonen. You start to see what our organization saw with him."

Brenden Morrow said he was as anxious as the fans to see what the new guy could do. Consider him impressed.

"He's a big body and covers a lot of net," Morrow said. "He's a highly touted guy, draft high. We're looking forward to him being healthy, 100 percent. He made a lot of big saves tonight."

Some other observations:

*Crawford praised Krys Barch for inspiring the team with his two fights. Barch got in some good punches in both skirmishes, and the Stars started their scoring barrage shortly thereafter.

*The return of defenseman Nicklas Grossman also was a big help, especially considering Stephane Robidas got tossed for a boarding incident. Grossman, who had missed four straight games with a back injury, was arguably the Stars' best defensive player, eating up 20:01 and earning a plus-3 rating. He also blocked two shots.

*The win was the 500th of Crawford's career, making him the 15th coach in NHL history to reach that milestone.

*The playoffs are still an extreme long shot obviously, but Crawford mentioned the word "playoffs" twice in his post-game news conference. First: "We showed a determination tonight that was playoff worthy." Then: "This is our playoffs right now."