Lightning at Stars
7 p.m. Saturday, American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: KTCK/1310 AM and 96.7 FM
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Records: Lightning 25-24-7, 57 points; Stars 22-27-10, 54 pts.
About the Lightning: Tampa Bay comes in rested for its first meeting this season with Dallas. Their league-mandated bye week began after last Saturday’s win at Winnipeg. The timing couldn’t have been worse. In their previous four outings, the Lightning had won three times and lost a shootout at Minnesota, earning points in four consecutive games for the first time since November. Still, they sit 14th in the Eastern Conference and six points out of a potential playoff spot. Team captain Steven Stamkos signed an eight-year, $68 million contract last summer. He had 20 points in his first 17 games but hasn’t played since Nov. 15 after surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. The team is 15-18-6 in his absence. Goalie Ben Bishop allowed one goal over his last two starts and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 37 saves in the shootout loss to the Wild.
About the Stars: Dallas’ dreary February continues. The Stars are 1-7 this month after ending a winless three-game road trip Thursday in Minnesota. Saturday begins a five-game homestand and it is the final game before the Stars’ bye week. Captain Jamie Benn remains a bright spot. He has scored 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) over the past 14 games and sits three points behind team leader Tyler Seguin (21 goals, 35 assists). Goalie Kari Lehtonen has one win in his last six decisions and has given up 19 goals.