NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 6th
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (38-28-11) at Florida Panthers (27-43-8), 5 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Stars will try to extend their lead for the
last playoff spot in the Western Conference when they visit the Florida
Panthers on Sunday.
Dallas recorded a 5-2 win Saturday at Tampa Bay and the win allowed the Stars
to leapfrog idle Phoenix for the final wild card spot in the West. Dallas has
87 points and five games to play, while Phoenix has 86 points and four games
left. The Coyotes are idle again on Sunday.
Jamie Benn had two goals and an assist to help the Stars down the Lightning on
Saturday. Vernon Fiddler and Tyler Seguin each posted a goal and an assist for
Dallas, which has won six of their past eight games.
Antoine Roussel scored the other goal while Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots.
It's unclear if Lehtonen will start on consecutive days or if backup Tim
Thomas will get the call. Thomas began this season with Florida and posted a
16-20-3 record and a 2.87 goals against average in 40 games with the Panthers
before getting dealt to Dallas. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner is just
2-2-1 with a 3.37 GAA in six games with Stars following the trade.
The Stars are completing a three-game road trip on Sunday before playing three
straight on home ice. Dallas will then return to the road to complete its
regular season on April 13 in Phoenix.
Dallas has lost two straight and four of its last five meetings with the
Panthers, but the Stars have picked up 4-1 wins in each of their last two
trips to Sunrise, Fla.
The Panthers will miss the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons this
spring and the club is not relishing in their spoiler role at the moment.
Florida has lost five straight in regulation and going 1-8-0 over its last
Florida is closing its season on a five-game homestand, but dropped the opener
of that residency against Calgary on Friday. Mike Cammalleri netted the winner
early in the second period to help the Flames record a 2-1 win at BB&T Center.
Vincent Trocheck provided the lone score and Roberto Luongo made 15 saves for
the Panthers, who have lost three straight on home ice to fall to 14-18-5 as
the host this season.
"A win would have been nice, but the effort was there," Luongo said. "We just
couldn't get the equalizer."
04/06 11:19:58 ET