Tampa Bay Lightning (33-21-5) at Dallas Stars (28-21-10), 3 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars take aim at a third straight victory on
Saturday afternoon as they play host to a Tampa Bay Lightning club that has
struggled of late.
The Stars won their final game before the Olympic break, then opened things
back up on Thursday with a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Jamie
Benn, fresh off helping Team Canada to a gold medal, had a short-handed goal
and added two assists.
Cody Eakin, Brenden Dillon and Tyler Seguin also scored to help Dallas improve
to 4-0-2 in its last six games. That has the Stars even with Vancouver for the
second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Kari Lehtonen was strong in net with 26 saves.
"He gave us some real big, timely saves," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff
about Lehtonen. "Not a lot in the first 40 but there were some timely saves
that kept them off the board. And I thought in the third there were a few more
quality opportunities where they could have closed the gap on us but he shut
Dallas has won the first two of a span of four straight and seven of eight at
home. The Stars, though, have lost four of their last six at home versus the
Tampa Bay is 5-1-2 in the past eight meetings overall and will host Dallas on
April 5 for the second of two regular-season meetings.
Lehtonen is 11-7-3 in his career versus Tampa Bay with a 2.37 goals against
The Lightning have lost five of their past seven, dropping them into a tie
with the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division, two
points back of Montreal.
Tampa picked up two first-period goals from Martin St. Louis on Thursday
before eventually dropping a 3-2 decision to the Nashville Predators. The
Bolts were outshot 21-7 over the final two periods.
"I'm really, really disappointed the way we played," said Lightning coach Jon
Cooper. "Seven shots in the last two periods? This team is -- I love this
team. We have a special group of guys in there and I'm just really shocked we
Ben Bishop made 26 saves as the Lightning lost the opener of a four-game road
trip. They will visit Colorado on Sunday.
Bishop has never faced the Stars and is being backed up Kristers Gudlevskis,
who has yet to play an NHL game but did perform well for Team Latvia during
the recent Olympics.
It is unknown if Gudlevskis will get into a game this weekend as goaltender
Anders Lindback has begun a conditioning assignment as he recovers from an
Tampa Bay forward Valtteri Filppula was unable to play on Thursday due to an
ankle injury suffered just before the Olympic break. He is day-to-day.
03/01 10:26:17 ET
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