Tampa Bay at Dallas
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 18, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to pick up where they left off before taking a week off when they visit the struggling Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The Lightning matched their season-high point streak of four (3-0-1) with a 4-1 victory over Winnipeg last Saturday, giving themselves hope to make a run for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Tampa Bay, which allowed 22 goals during a brutal four-game stretch at the beginning of January, allowed four in the last four contests and center Brayden Point has four goals in six games since returning from an upper-body injury. The Stars are going the opposite direction with seven losses in their last eight games as playoff hopes in the West become more dim every day. Dallas outshot its last two opponents 71-50 combined, but lost 5-2 at Winnipeg on Tuesday before Thursday’s 3-1 setback at Minnesota. “I don’t know if I’ve been through a stretch like this,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff told reporters. “. … I know there’s frustration there. I’m asking them to go out and work, do the job, and the bounces aren’t going our way.”TV:
8 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), FSN Southwest (Dallas)ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (25-24-7):
Point moved to center recently and is shining while skating with Jonathan Drouin (four points, four games) and Alex Killorn (seven points, seven games) primarily of late. Nikita Kucherov, who had four points in the first two games of the streak, leads the team with 49 and defenseman Victor Hedman is second with 44 - three in the last three contests. Andrei Vasilevskiy was outstanding against Minnesota to get a point and Ben Bishop allowed three goals in three victories, so each should get a start this weekend with Tampa Bay visiting Colorado on Sunday.ABOUT THE STARS (22-27-10):
Cody Eakin, who started Thursday’s game centering captain Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves, scored his second goal of the season as Dallas’ top performers were blanked. Tyler Seguin had five points in the previous two games before being left off the scoresheet against Minnesota and leads the team with 56 - three better than Benn, who has seven in the past five contests after going without one Thursday. The Stars are 8-for-35 on the power play over the last nine games, but their league-worst penalty killers allowed 11 tallies in the past 12 contests.OVERTIME
1. Dallas is 0-20-2 when trailing after two periods and stands 29th in the league in goals-against per game (3.20).
2. Tampa Bay F Brian Boyle, who boasts 13 goals, is slated to play the 600th game of his NHL career this season.
3. The Stars, who visit the Lightning on April 2, won both meetings last season - including 4-3 in Dallas.PREDICTION:
Lightning 5, Stars 2
Stats and Records