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Kari Lehtonen could play Thursday

Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen missed his 12th game Monday night due to a groin injury, but he could be in the lineup as early as Thursday when the Stars play the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center.

After Monday night's 5- 3 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan was asked if Lehtonen would return this week.

"Yeah, he will for sure," Gulutzan said. "He's been skating the last few days. He's very close. I wouldn't be surprised to see him against Columbus."

Lehtonen was injured in a November 26 game at Phoenix. The Stars have gone 7-5-0 in the 12 games he has missed due the injury.