NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, January 20th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (18-23-4) at Dallas Stars (24-19-2), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Both the Lightning and Stars are coming off efforts that
left their respective head coaches pleased, but only one team came away with
Tampa Bay, fresh off snapping its longest losing streak in almost three years,
tries for its first victory in seven road games this evening against a Dallas
club that has dropped three straight close games.
The Lightning carried an 0-6-1 slide into Tuesday's game versus the Bruins and
finally cracked the win column with a 5-3 victory. Dominic Moore potted the
go-ahead goal with 3:45 left in the third period to snap an 11-game goal
Vincent Lecavalier, Tom Pyatt and Ryan Malone added goals and Steven Stamkos
tallied into an empty net for his league-leading 31st marker of the season and
150th of his career. Mathieu Garon ended with 26 saves.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher felt his team was ready for a meeting with
the defending Stanley Cup champions.
"Difference is, when the puck dropped we had emotion," Boucher said. "We've
had some really good games lately, but I found that beginning of periods of
end of periods either we got scared ... or we have a lack of confidence from
"I told the players [earlier Tuesday], 'I don't care about the score.' I
wanted fight when the puck dropped."
Tampa was on its longest losing streak since closing out the 2008-09 season on
an 0-7-2 slide and will now try to win on the road for the first time since
Dec. 17. The Bolts are 12 points out of a playoff spot.
Dallas is a bit closer in the Western Conference, coming into this meeting two
points out of the playoff picture despite three straight one-goal losses. The
last two have come against conference heavyweights, a 1-0 loss in St. Louis on
Monday and a 3-2 shootout setback to visiting Detroit the following night.
The Stars' offense was without two of its top four scorers for those big games
due to injuries to Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro, leaving head coach Glen
Gulutzan proud of his team's efforts but disappointed with the lack of points.
"You know, I have to judge everything by work ethic and if you look at these
last two nights, we put in the work. Did we get the result? No, but did we put
in the effort? Yes, both nights, and for that, that's the positive for our
group," said Gulutzan.
"The kick side is, when you put in those efforts, you've got to get points. We
did tonight, but had we done that [Monday] night and took two out of four
[points] out of this thing, we'd probably have been okay about that, but
tonight would have been good to get two."
Brenden Morrow scored his first goal since Dec. 19 and Loui Eriksson also
scored for the Stars. Morrow is now one point shy of tying Jere Lehtinen (514)
for eighth place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
Backup Richard Bachman made 30 saves and kept the Red Wings off the board in
the third period and overtime, but gave up the lone shootout tally.
"We knew it was going to be a tight third period," Bachman said. "I just
wanted to do whatever I could to give the team a chance to win. I would have
liked to have seen things go the other way, but I thought the guys worked hard
The Lightning tallied a 5-4 home win over the Stars in the lone meeting last
year, getting a pair of power-play goals from Moore and a goal and two assists
Tampa Bay, though, is just 3-5-1 with a tie in 10 games at Dallas since the
Stars relocated there in 1993-94.
01/20 10:50:58 ET