NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 5th
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (37-28-11) at Tampa Bay Lightning (42-26-9), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams seeking a rebound effort will do battle on
Saturday night as they Dallas Stars resume their five-game road trip against
the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Stars are fighting for a wild card spot in the Western Conference and had
netted 16 goals over a three-game winning streak before losing a 4-1 decision
to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Dallas is one point behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final playoff berth
with 85 points and has two games in hand. The Stars also own a second
tiebreaker over the Coyotes with four more non-shootout wins.
The Coyotes are idle today after gaining a point in Friday's home shootout
loss against Edmonton.
Tyler Seguin had Dallas' lone goal on Thursday, his 34th of the season, but
netminder Kari Lehtonen was pulled midway through the second period after
letting up three goals on 16 shots. Tim Thomas halted 15-of-16 chances in
"I didn't like the fact that we weren't able to kill off a couple penalties,"
said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff.
The Stars will wrap their road trip this weekend with tonight's game and
Sunday's contest at the Florida Panthers, but could be without veteran forward
Ray Whitney. He left Saturday's contest early with a lower-body injury.
Lehtonen and Thomas may both see action this weekend and Ruff could opt to go
with Thomas on Sunday versus the Panthers, who the netminder began the season
with before getting acquired by Dallas in a trade.
Lehtonen is 11-8-3 with a 2.45 goals against average and two shutouts in his
career versus the Lightning, while Thomas is 12-5-0 with a 2.36 GAA against
The Lightning have already secured a trip to the postseason, but have lost two
of their last three. They followed up a big victory over the Montreal
Canadiens on Tuesday with a 4-1 setback to the Calgary Flames two nights
Tampa Bay is two points behind the Canadiens for second place in the Atlantic
Division, but the Bolts do hold a game in hand over the Habs. Montreal hosts
the Detroit Red Wings tonight after earning a win in Ottawa on Friday.
The Lightning yielded two goals in a 15-second span in the first period versus
the Flames, though they got within a goal on Ondrej Palat's second-period
Ben Bishop yielded three goals on 24 shots.
"You don't want to shorten the hockey game," said Tampa Bay head coach Jon
Cooper said. "The game had a 7:30 start, I think we started the game at 8:10."
Bishop has faced the Stars just once before and got the win, stopping 39-of-41
shots in a 4-2 road win on March 1. It was Tampa Bay's third victory in a row
Lehtonen yielded all four goals on 21 shots for the Stars.
Dallas has lost its past two trips to Tampa following an eight-game series
road winning streak.
04/05 10:33:35 ET