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Stars-Lightning Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at Tampa Bay Lightning
Sunday, April 2
5:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (32-35-11) won 3-0 at Carolina Saturday. Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 shots, and Jason Spezza scored the game-winning goal as the Stars snapped Carolina's 13-game points streak.

"We played a simple game, especially in our own zone," said Lehtonen. "We kept their chances pretty low, and that always helps. We' got the goal [by Spezza] and then hunkered down in the third. It was just a good effort from everybody."

The shutout was the third of the season for Lehtonen and the 37th of his career.

The Stars improved to 4-2-1 over their past seven games, allowing just ten goals during that stretch.

Sunday's game concludes a five-game road trip for the Stars and is their final road game of the season.

Injuries: RW Ales Hemsky (hip) and Jamie Oleksiak (lower body) are day to day. LW Curtis McKenzie (eye), RW Jiri Hudler (lower body), RW Patrick Sharp (hip surgery) and LW Antoine Roussel (hand) are out. C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) is on injured reserve.

About the Lightning

The Lightning (38-29-10) had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal Saturday. The Lightning fell to four points out of the final playoff spot in the East with five games remaining on their schedule.

"We are playing all these good teams down the stretch here, and we are hanging with them all," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "So that's really encouraging, but as I've said many times, we are running out of games here."

Forwards Steven Stamkos (knee) and Tyler Johnson (lower body) took part in Saturday's morning skate and are day to day.

Sunday's game wraps up a four-game homestand for Tampa Bay.

Injuries: F Steven Stamkos (knee) and F Tyler Johnson (lower body) are day to day. D Jason Garrison (lower body), F Ryan Callahan (hip) and F Cedric Paquette (lower body) are out.

Season Series

*This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Lightning.

*The Stars won the first meeting, 4-3 in overtime, in Dallas on February 18.

*The Stars have won three straight games against Tampa Bay.

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 12-23-5 on the road.

*The Lightning are 21-14-4 at home.

*The Stars have allowed two goals or fewer in six of their past seven games.

*The Lightning have scored three goals or more in five of their past seven games.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 4-1-1 in his past six starts with a 1.32 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and two shutouts.

*Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov was the NHL's Player of the Month for March after racking up 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 14 games.

*The Lightning are 16-57 (28.1 percent) on the power play over the past 18 games.

*The Stars have not scored on the power play in 11 of their past 14 games and are 4-30 (13.3 percent) on the power play during that stretch.

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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