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Stars-Lightning Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars

Thursday February 5, 2015
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Channel Guide)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (23-19-8) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Colorado on Tuesday. The Stars had a 2-0 lead after two periods, holding the Avalanche to just eight shots on goal through 40 minutes. But the Avalanche scored twice in the third, tallying the game-tying goal with 19.7 seconds remaining, to force extra playing time.

“You can’t play any better and lose,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We gave up nothing for sixty minutes. I don’t think they had five chances to score the whole game until overtime. They had a couple, but you can’t really play any better than that on the defensive side of the puck.”

The Stars fell to 2-8 in games that have been settled beyond regulation.

Forwards Jason Spezza and Travis Moen did not practice Wednesday. Ruff said it was a maintenance day for both players.

Thursday’s game wraps up a two-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out. G Anders Lindback is on a conditioning assigmenti in the AHL.

About the Lightning

The Lightning (32-15-5) lost 2-1 in overtime at St. Louis on Tuesday. Tampa Bay had a 1-0 lead, but the Blues scored with 3:10 remaining in regulation and then won the game 1:16 into overtime. The Lightning had a 31-18 shots advantage in the game.

“I feel for our guys a little bit,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I thought we played a solid road game. We came away with one point but thought it should have been two.”

Tampa Bay is winless in its last four games on the road (0-3-1). The loss was just the second in the last seven games overall for the Lightning (5-1-1).

Thursday’s game wraps up a two-game road trip for Tampa Bay.

Injuries: D Radko Gudas (knee) and D Matthew Carle (abdomen) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings this season between the Stars and Lightning.

*The Stars were 1-1-0 against the Lightning last season.

*The Stars are 20-9-3 all-time against Tampa Bay.

Statistical tidbits

*Tampa Bay leads the NHL in goal scoring at 3.17 per game.

*The Stars rank second in goal scoring at 3.14 per game.

*Tampa Bay ranks 10th in goals against at 2.52 per game.

*The Stars rank 27th in goals against at 3.20 per game.

*The Stars are 7-14 (50.0 percent) on the power play over the past three games. They are 10-32 (31.3 percent) on the PP over the past ten games.

*Tampa Bay is 19-20 (95.0 percent) on the penalty kill over the past six games.

*The Lightning are 1-20 (5.0 percent) on the power play over the last six games and 2-27 (7.4 percent) on the PP over the past eight games.

*Tampa Bay is 9-3-2 vs. the Western Conference, including 3-1-2 against the Central Division.

*The Stars are 9-8-1 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (28) and points (56).

*Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning in goals (27) and Tyler Johnson leads the Lightning in points (49).

This story was not subject to the 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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