Lightning fast start too much for Stars

Posted Saturday, Mar. 01, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Martin St. Louis scored two goals for the second consecutive game, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

The Lightning had lost five of its previous seven games.

Goalie Ben Bishop cooled off Dallas by making 39 saves for his 29th win.

Nate Thompson and Sami Salo also scored for Tampa Bay. Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat each had two assists.

The four goals allowed by Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen were his most in 12 games since a 4-3 loss to Colorado Jan. 27.

Antoine Roussel and Vernon Fiddler each had a goal and an assist for Dallas.

The Stars, who had been 7-1-2 in their previous 10 games, remained eighth in the Western Conference.

St. Louis scored just 1:25 into the game. Eric Brewer sent a shot from the slot wide right, but the puck hit St. Louis’ left leg and deflected into the near side of the net past Lehtonen.

The Lightning had another chance on a 2-on-1 rush 7 minutes later, but Lehtonen deflected Ryan Malone’s shot away into the left corner.

At 12:09, Thompson gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead by deflecting Hedman’s drive from the left point over Lehtonen’s left shoulder. That was the seventh shot on goal, equaling the Lightning’s total for the final two periods in Thursday’s loss to Nashville. Hedman earned his 100th career assist.

Dallas killed 4 minutes of penalties after Alex Chiasson drew a double minor for high sticking at 13:22. The Lightning’s best chance was Nikita Kucherov’s in-close attempt, but Lehtonen made a save.

Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 11-8 in the period.

The Stars dominated the second period, outshooting the Lightning 18-7. However, Tampa Bay scored on St. Louis’ breakaway for a 3-0 lead at 14:31.

Dallas intensified its pressure, and scored twice to go into the final period trailing 3-2.

At 15:50, Roussel deflected Kevin Connauton’s shot from the left wing boards off Lightning defenseman Michael Kostka’s skate and past Bishop. Fiddler, who had assisted on Roussel’s goal, scored on a wraparound at 18:11.

The Stars had chances while on a power play for the period’s final 22 seconds, but couldn’t score again.

In the third period, that line continued to pressure Bishop. He stopped good scoring chances by Fiddler and Ryan Garbutt.

Salo extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-2 at 7:12. He took a pass off a faceoff in the neutral zone, skated in to the high slot and sent a slap shot into the top of the net.

The Stars were without defenseman Brenden Dillon because of a lower-body injury. He is listed as day to day.

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