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Preview: Stars at Lightning

Tampa Bay, five points from second wild card in East, gets Tyler Johnson back against Dallas

by Corey Long / Correspondent

STARS (32-35-11) at LIGHTNING (38-29-10)

6 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-SW+, NHL.TV


Stars team scope

The Dallas Stars will have another opportunity to spoil the Stanley Cup Playoff hopes of an Eastern Conference team when they finish their five-game road trip. Dallas ended the Carolina Hurricanes' 13-game point streak with a 3-0 win Saturday. "We knew how hungry they were," coach Lindy Ruff said. "All we can do is play spoilers and take pride in how we play." Dallas defeated Tampa Bay on Feb. 18 when Jamie Benn scored in overtime for a 4-3 win. The Stars are 4-2-1 in their past seven games and have given up 10 goals during that stretch. Goalie Antti Niemi could start after Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves for his shutout Saturday.

Video: SJS@DAL: Benn uses silky hands to beat Dell


Lightning team scope

The Tampa Bay Lightning are five points behind the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Center Tyler Johnson, who hasn't played since sustaining a lower-body injury on March 9, will be in the lineup as will defenseman Jason Garrison, who missed four games with a lower-body injury. Center Steven Stamkos (knee) told the Tampa Bay Times following an optional morning skate Sunday that he will not play. "You are sitting here thinking we are going to get guys back [Saturday] and then we didn't," coach Jon Cooper said Saturday. "So guys are getting close, it's just unfortunate that they can't go." Goalie Peter Budaj will start after Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Video: DET@TBL: Drouin cuts through defense, nets a PPG


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Devin Shore

Remi Elie -- Cody Eakin -- Jason Spezza

Gemel Smith -- Radek Faksa -- Adam Cracknell

Jason Dickinson -- Justin Dowling -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Greg Pateryn

Patrik Nemeth -- Julius Honka

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Stephen Johns

Injured: Jamie Oleksiak (lower body), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Curtis McKenzie (eye), Patrick Sharp (hip), Mattias Janmark (knee)


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn -- Tyler Johnson -- Jonathan Drouin

Adam Erne -- Yanni Gourde -- Vladislav Namestnikov

J.T. Brown -- Gabriel Dumont -- Luke Witkowski

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Jason Garrison -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Andrej Sustr

Peter Budaj

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Greg McKegg 

Injured: Steven Stamkos (knee), Ryan Callahan (hip), Tyler Johnson (lower body), Cedric Paquette (lower body)


Status report

Joel Vermin was sent down to Syracuse of the American Hockey League when Johnson was activated. 


Who's hot

Lehtonen is 4-1-1 in his past six starts with a 1.32 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and two shutouts. … Hedman has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in the past six games. Gourde has scored in three consecutive games.

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