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Andrew Raycroft passes his first test as Stars’ top guy

Dallas Stars v Phoenix Coyotes

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 26: Goaltender Andrew Raycroft #30 of the Dallas Stars in action during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on November 26, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Stars 3-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen

The Dallas Stars are resisting the urge to panic, even if the concept of rolling with Andrew Raycroft could cause some nervousness. The former Calder Trophy winner was almost perfect against the Colorado Avalanche, though, as he allowed just one goal on 36 shots.

Raycroft was less than four minutes away from a rare shutout, but Kevin Porter hammered home a rebound to ruin what would have been an even better story.

Still, the Stars will take the two points and at least a temporary lead in the Pacific Division (the San Jose Sharks could re-claim the top spot with a win against the Los Angeles Kings tonight). After five sometimes-hard-luck games, Raycroft earned his first win of the 2011-12 season at a moment when they probably needed it the most.

Kari Lehtonen is likely to miss at least seven additional games (and perhaps more). That means that the jury is still out on whether or not Raycroft can carry the load, but so far, so good.