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Stars' Lehtonen appears set for return from concussion as team sends Nilstorp back to minors

Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) makes a save during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres Monday, March 3, 2014, in Dallas. The Stars have sent goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp back to the Texas Stars of the AHL, a sign that starter Lehtonen is ready to return from a concussion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/LM Otero

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Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) makes a save during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres Monday, March 3, 2014, in Dallas. The Stars have sent goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp back to the Texas Stars of the AHL, a sign that starter Lehtonen is ready to return from a concussion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/LM Otero

DALLAS - The Dallas Stars have sent goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp back to the Texas Stars of the AHL, a sign that starter Kari Lehtonen is ready to return from a concussion.

Lehtonen was injured in a 4-3 win over Minnesota on March 8 when Erik Haula ran him over and knocked off his helmet. He went through his first full practice Friday.

Tim Thomas made four starts in Lehtonen's place, including a game against Columbus that was postponed when Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench in the first period. Thomas was acquired from Florida a day before the trading deadline.

Thomas was pulled from Sunday's 7-2 loss at Winnipeg after allowing his fourth goal on 17 shots just 29 seconds into the second period. Nilstorp finished the game.

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