Kari Lehtonen (Getty Images)
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen hasn't had a banner season thus far, but he made a spectacular stop Thursday on Kings center Jarret Stoll to rob him of a sure goal and qualify for the save of the year.
Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen hasn't had the best beginning to the season, but if he continues making unbelievable saves like the one he made on Kings center Jarret Stoll Thursday, Stars fans are going to forget his slow start.
With his Stars up 2-0 early in the second period against the host Kings, Lehtonen had to deal with a flurry of activity in front of his net: L.A. left winger Kyle Clifford fired the puck toward Lehtonen; Kings right winger Trevor Lewis tried to bat the puck past him before knocking it over to Stoll, who likely thought he had an easy goal given how much wide-open net he was staring at. But because Lehtonen still had something to say about it, this happened:
Incredibly, Lehtonen stretches clear across the net to barely get there in time to stop the shot. Stoll clearly can't believe the puck didn't cross the goal line, but look closely and you'll see Lewis was even more surprised – he's in the process of raising his stick in celebration at the puck settles in Lehtonen's glove. Lehtonen went on to stop the other 26 shots he saw to lead Dallas to a 2-0 victory at Staples Center.
Oh, and other NHL save-of-the-year candidates? Consider yourselves on notice: the bar has been raised.