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Stars-Lightning Preview

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 11:36 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Lightning Preview
Previewing Saturday afternoon\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars
Saturday, March 1
2:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (28-21-10) won their first game out of the Olympic break, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 at American Airlines Center Thursday night. Jamie Benn had one goal and two assists and Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of 30 shots.

“I thought our team played great,” said Benn. “We came out in the first and I thought we took it to them. We got the first goal and we kept rolling from there.”

The Stars, who scored twice shorthanded in the game, moved back into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the victory.

“It’s the situation we want to be in,” said Benn. “We don’t want to be looking at the scoreboard after games and hoping teams lose or hoping teams win. It’s up to us in here to put ourselves in a good situation.”

Thursday’s game kicked off a three-game homestand for the Stars, and a stretch where they’ll play six of the next seven at American Airlines Center.

The Stars announced Friday that they signed forward Colton Sceviour, currently with the Texas Stars, to a two-year contract extension. The deal is one-way both years.

Injuries: D Stephane Robidas (leg) is out.

About the Lightning

The Lightning (33-21-5) lost their first game out of the break, falling 3-2 at Nashville Thursday. Tampa Bay led 2-0 after the first period, but the Predators scored three times on the power play to rally for the victory. Nashville outshot the Lightning 21-7 over the final two periods.

“I'm really, really disappointed the way we played,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Seven shots in the last two periods? This team is -- I love this team -- we have a special group of guys in there, and I'm just really shocked we did that. We've worked hard all year to put ourselves in the position we wanted to be in all along. We wanted to be in the conversation in March and April, and you can't let games like this slip through your fingers.”

Tampa Bay was 1-4 on the penalty kill in the game and ranked 26th in the league at 79.4 percent following Thursday's games.

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos remains out due to a broken leg suffered in early November. He is hoping to return next week.

Injuries: F Steven Stamkos (leg), F Valtteri Filppula (ankle) and D Mattias Ohlund (knee) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The two teams did not play last season.

*The Stars and Lightning last played Jan. 20, 2012 in Dallas with Tampa Bay winning 2-1.

*The Stars are 19-8-3 all-time vs. Tampa Bay.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and have outscored their opposition 31-13.

*The Stars have allowed two goals or fewer in eight of their last ten games.

*The Stars are 5-1-1 in their last seven home games.

*Tampa Bay is 2-5-0 in its last seven games overall.

*Tampa Bay is 1-4-0 in its last five games on the road.

*The Stars are 9-10-2 vs. the Eastern Conference.

*Tampa Bay is 12-7-2 vs. the Western Conference.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (25) and points (57).

*Martin St. Louis leads the Lightning in goals (27) and points (58).

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 DallasStars.com 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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