For a few weeks next month, Kari Lehtonen will substitute his familiar green hockey sweater for something blue and white.
The Dallas Stars goaltender, who lives in Preston Hollow, will represent his native Finland at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Lehtonen, 30, will represent Finland for the ninth time in international competition and the first time at the Olympics. The native of Helsinki helped lead Finland to a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships.
He has a 16-10-7 record this season with the Stars, with a 2.68 goals-against average. Lehtonen has 197 career victories, placing him second all-time among goaltenders born in Finland.
The other goalies on the Finnish roster will include Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins. The first Olympic game for Finland will be on Feb. 13 against Austria at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Two of Lehtonen’s Stars teammates also will be at the Olympics, as Jamie Benn will compete for Canada and Valeri Nichushkin for Russia. Stars head coach Lindy Ruff will be an assistant coach for the Canadian squad.
Meanwhile, the Stars and the rest of the NHL will take their traditional two-week break to accommodate the Olympics beginning Feb. 9.