(SportsNetwork.com) – While Colorado veteran Jarome Iginla continues to reach
career milestones, Dallas rookie defenseman John Klingberg is trying to make a
name for himself.
Klingberg and the Stars shoot for a third straight victory on Tuesday night
when they square off with Iginla and the Avalanche.
The 22-year-old Klingberg became the first rookie blueliner in franchise
history to record four points in one game when he scored twice and had two
assists in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
It capped an excellent month for the Swede, with Klingberg getting named the
NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after recording five goals and eight
assists in 13 games.
Klingberg had one of four power-play goals versus the Jets. Shawn Horcoff,
Jason Spezza and Patrick Eaves all lit the lamp on the man advantage as well,
while Tyler Seguin finished with three assists.
Seguin is tied for the second in the NHL with 56 points.
Kari Lehtonen made 38 saves in a sixth straight start as the Stars won for the
fourth time in six games.
“Obviously they were trying to play real physical, and they took a few
penalties,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “The only way you can stop physical
play is by putting the puck in the back of the net. For us, we had the
opportunities. If you don’t use those opportunities, then it keeps coming.”
The Stars have 53 points on the season, tied with the Central Division-rival
Avalanche. The two clubs are four points back of a wild card spot.
Colorado had lost three of four ahead of Friday’s 3-0 win over the Nashville
Predators, with Semyon Varlamov posting 23 saves for his fourth shutout of the
season and 17th of his career.
It also was the Avalanche’s fourth straight win at home, but they’ll play
three of their next four on the road.
“To get a shutout in this league is sure not easy,” said Varlamov. “Tonight we
played a solid 60 minutes. I saw a lot of shots that came from the blue line.
We got off to a good start, and we built confidence from there.”
Iginla joined Maxime Talbot and Gabriel Landeskog as the goal-scorers and
picked up the 1,200th point of his career. He became the 47th player in league
history to reach that mark and he is only one goal behind Mark Recchi (577)
for 19th on the NHL’s all-time list.
The Avalanche have won three straight and six of their past seven versus the
Stars, including a pair of wins at home this season.
The two clubs have split the past six encounters in Dallas.
Varlamov is 6-3-2 lifetime versus the Stars with a 3.22 goals against average
and .903 save percentage in 11 games, while Lehtonen is 8-6-2 in 18 games (16
starts) against the Avs with a 2.91 GAA and .907 save percentage.