Stars-Panthers Preview

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 12:58 AM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Panthers Preview
Previewing Sunday afternoon\'s game between the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers.

Dallas Stars at Florida Panthers
Sunday, April 6
4:00 p.m.
TV: TXA-21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (38-28-11) moved back into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 5-2 win at Tampa Bay Saturday. Jamie Benn had two goals and one assist and Tyler Seguin and Vernon Fiddler chipped in with one goal and one assist each for the Stars, who built a 3-0 lead in the first, had the Lightning cut lead to 3-2 after two periods and then finished the game off with two goals in the third.

"What we talked about after the second was that we won the first and they won the second, and now it's time to make a statement that we were going to take it to them and not sit on the lead," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "At 3-2 any bounce can beat you. But we got on our toes and we confronted every puck and every battle we were there. We didn't give them a lot of time. As confident as you can be about the team playing a good period, you want to go out there and see them do it, and I thought they did it.”

The Stars lead Phoenix by one point in the race for the final playoff spot, and have one game in hand. Sunday’s game will wrap up a stretch of five straight on the road for the Stars, who are 3-1-0 in the first four. Sunday’s game also is the second in a stretch of four games over five days for Dallas.

Injuries: D Aaron Rome (lower body) is day to day. F Ray Whitney (lower body) and F Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) are out.

About the Panthers

The Panthers (27-43-8) lost their fifth straight game, falling 2-1 to Calgary on Friday. Roberto Luongo, who had missed the three previous games due to a concussion, stopped 15 of 17 shots in his return for Florida.

“A win would have been nice but I thought the effort was there, the boys played really hard, we carried the play most of the night,” Luongo said. “You've got to give their goalie credit, he played well and made some big saves. We just couldn't get that equalizer.”

Sunday’s game is the second of a season-ending five-game homestand for the Panthers, who rank 29th in the NHL with 62 points.

Injuries: F Jonathan Huberdeau (concussion) is probable. F Brad Boyes (back) is questionable. F Aleksander Barkov (knee), F Tomas Kopecky (concussion), D Tom Gilbert (sports hernia) and D Alex Petrovic (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

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

*They met on opening night in Dallas on October 3 with the Panthers winning 4-2.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 11-7-1 since the Olympic break.

*The Stars are 6-2-0 in their last eight games.

*The Stars have scored four goals or more in four of their last five games.

*The Panthers are 1-8-0 over their last nine games and have been outscored 33-12 during that stretch.

*Florida has not won a game in regulation since March 18.

*Florida ranks last in the league on both the power play (10.4 percent) and the penalty kill (75.6 percent).

*The Stars are 0-15 on the power play over their last four games.

*Florida is 8-15-4 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Stars are 13-15-2 vs. the Eastern Conference.

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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