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Preview: Stars set to close out road trip against league-leading Bolts

Ben Bishop to get the start in goal as he returns to Tampa to face his former team

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge
Dallas Stars at Tampa Bay Lightning 

Thursday, November 16 
6:30 p.m.  
TV: FOX Sports Southwest  
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


About the Stars

The Stars (9-8-1) are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss at Florida on Tuesday. The Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead, but the Panthers tied the game early in the third period and then secured the extra point in the shootout. The Stars outshot the Panthers 43-29 including 18-4 in the second period.

"We should've won the hockey game. We deserved a much better fate," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "The second period was the best we've played all year on the road. I thought we played excellent. We managed the game well in the third. We had lots of chances. We had breakaways, two on ones. We hit, what? Four bars? We played a hell of a hockey game."

The Stars fell to 0-1-1 on their current road trip and have lost three straight away from home (0-2-1). 

The Stars assigned F Jason Dickinson to the Texas Stars of the AHL on Wednesday.

Ben Bishop will get the start in goal Thursday. It will be Bishop's first game in Tampa since last season's trade that sent him from the Lightning to the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline.

"I am going to try to treat it like any other game, but I am sure it is going to be different coming in here and going into the other locker room," Bishop said. "But it should be fun."

Thursday's game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars.

Injuries: Marc Methot (lower body) is out.


About the Lightning

The Lightning (14-2-2) ran their winning streak to four games with a 2-1 win at Anaheim on Sunday. Vladislav Namestnikov and J.T. Brown scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves for the Lightning who went 3-0-0 on a California road trip and extended their road points streak to eight games (7-0-1).

"Coming through California is a tough trip, and everybody out East knows that," Lightning coach Jon Cooper told the media. "I was really impressed with the guys' focus and trying to get this one tonight, and they found a way."

Tampa Bay allowed just four goals during their three-game road trip against San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim. Tampa Bay, which owns the best record in the NHL, has won four straight games overall.

Thursday's game begins a three-game homestand for the Lightning.

Injuries: C Cedric Paquette (lower body) is day to day.


Season Series
  • This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Lightning.

  • The Stars were 1-1-0 against Tampa Bay last season.


Statistical Tidbits
  • The Stars are 3-6-1 on the road.

  • The Lightning are 7-1-1 at home.

  • The Stars are 4-1-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

  • The Lightning are 4-1-0 vs. the Western Conference.

  • Tampa Bay leads the NHL in goal scoring (3.89/game) and ranks third in goals against (2.50/game).

  • The Stars rank 19th in goal scoring (2.82/game) and 14th in goals against (2.82/game).

  • The Stars rank first on the power play at 31.4 percent. Tampa Bay ranks second on the power play at 28.6 percent.

  • Tampa Bay is 15-15 on the penalty kill over its last six games.

  • The Stars are 10-16 (62.5 percent) on the penalty kill in their last four road games.

  • Stars forward Alexander Radulov has points in straight games (five goals, eight assists).

  • Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos leads the NHL in points with 31 (eight goals, 23 assists). Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL in goals (16) and ranks second in points (30).

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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