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game preview

Stars at Lightning preview

Bishop starts for Dallas, plays former team for first time since trade; Tampa Bay seeks fifth straight win

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (9-8-1) at LIGHTNING (14-2-2)

7:30 p.m. ET, SUN, FS-SW, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop will face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday, playing against them for the first time since they traded him last season.

Bishop, who holds Tampa Bay records for games played by a goalie (227), wins (131), shutouts (17), saves (5,728) and save percentage (.921), was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 26 for goaltender Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak and two draft picks. The Kings traded him to the Stars for a draft pick on May 9, and he signed a six-year, $29.5 million contract (average annual value $4,916,667) with Dallas three days later.

The Stars are 0-1-1 entering the finale of a thre-game road trip.

The Lightning seek their fifth consecutive victory, which would mark their longest winning streak this season. They're 5-0-1 in their past six games. Center Steven Stamkos, with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists), and forward Nikita Kucherov, with 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) are first and second in the NHL in scoring.

 

Players to watch

Stars forward Alexander Radulov is looking to extend his point streak to 10 games; he has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past nine games. 

Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov, playing on a line with Stamkos and Kucherov, has six points (four goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak.

 

They said it

"You want [Bishop] to really play well. You want him to do well. But this is a chance for him to move on. He had good success [in Tampa] and he's obviously helped us a lot. But it's like anything, you get to move on after the first game." -- Stars coach Ken Hitchcock

"[Bishop] is one of those guys who gets super fired-up about games. I think he's going to be fired up to play us, for sure, but we're going to be fired up to play him, so it goes both ways." -- Lightning forward Alex Killorn

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Mattias Janmark -- Martin Hanzal -- Devin Shore

Gemel Smith -- Jason Spezza -- Brett Ritchie

Antoine Roussel -- Radek Faksa -- Tyler Pitlick

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak -- Stephen Johns

Dan Hamhuis -- Greg Pateryn

Ben Bishop

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Remi Elie

Injured: Marc Methot (lower body)

 

Lightning projected lineup

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Yanni Gourde

Alex Killorn -- Tyler Johnson

Chris Kunitz -- J.T. Brown -- Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman -- Jake Dotchin

Mikhail Sergachev -- Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn -- Dan Girardi

Andrej Sustr

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Gabriel Dumont, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Cedric Paquette (upper body)

 

Status report

Smith and Ritchie are expected to return after being scratched in a 4-3 loss at the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. ... Paquette likely will be out at least another week. The Lightning will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

 

Stat pack

Seguin has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his past 14 games. ... Vasilevskiy leads the NHL with 13 wins; he's 12-0-1 with 27 goals allowed and one shutout in his past 13 starts.

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