Kari Lehtonen rests sore groin

Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who left practice early yesterday, did not practice today due to a groin issue. Lehtonen was expected to play in Tuesday's preseason game, but that start has been pushed back to Thursday to give him some time to rest the groin.

"He has a slight groin problem, so we are trying to nip it in the bud right now," said Stars coach Marc Crawford. "He had it before practice yesterday and he wanted to try it. He didn't pull it or anything yesterday, he was was just trying to be careful with it. Today it's better but we just decided to push his start back so he can play the whole game on Thursday. ... We're just trying to be smart with Kari. I believe he'll practice tomorrow. We'll change that if we come in tomorrow and he's still sore."

If all goes well, Lehtonen would play Thursday and then in the final preseason game on Saturday. Andrew Raycroft will play Tuesday in Denver against the Avalanche.

"It's good because we get to see Andrew Raycroft right on the heels of seeing [Brent] Krahn and that's what we need to see," said Crawford.

Raycroft and Krahn are battling for the backup goaltending job.

*Defenseman Mark Fistric, who missed yesterday's practice with a sore wrist, practiced today and is fine.

*Center Tom Wandell, who has been out more than a week with a shoulder sprain, practiced again today and did get in some contact drills.

"Tommy Wandell was another step up in practice today," Crawford said. "We were carefully allowing him to be in contact."

The Stars will take 22 players to Denver for Tuesday's game. The lineup is expected to look something like this:









Krahn (backup)