Last 10: Tampa Bay (5-2-3); Dallas (5-4-1)
Season Series: The two clubs meet for the first and only time tonight at the American Airlines Center. Last season, the Lightning rallied for three goals in the third period to beat the Stars 4-2 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Jan. 19. Steven Stamkos scored the game-tying goal and Vincent Lecavalier’s power-play tally proved to be decisive. Mike Smith made 23 saves.
LIGHTNING – In addition to the potent scoring threat posed by Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier, several Lightning defensemen have been contributing offensively to the team's success in recent games. Beginning with the Nov. 22 game at Atlanta, Kurtis Foster started the trend by recording his first multi-point game of the season, tallying a goal and an assist. Andrej Meszaros followed on Nov. 25 against Toronto, scoring a goal, while Lukas Krajicek earned a +1 rating. In last night's game against the Rangers, Foster doubled his total from the Atlanta game by scoring two goals which tied a career high. Matt Walker also earned an assist in the contest, as did rookie Victor Hedman, while all three defensemen earned a +1 rating.
STARS – Dallas is seeking their first victory since Nov. 23, having lost their two previous games, one in regulation and the other in overtime. The Stars come in at mediocre at best, going 2-2-1 in their last five, recording five out of a possible 10 points. They have been outscored 16-13 over that span.
Who’s Hot: - Kurtis Foster has three goals and five points this season, all in his last four games.
- Dallas’ Brendan Morrow has three points in as many games including two goals, and Tom Wandell has tallied two assists in the same number of contests.
Injury Report: LIGHTNING – Mattias Ohlund (lower body, day-to-day); STARS – Brian Sutherby (groin, placed on Injured Reserve).
Quotable: “I think this was the best 60-minute hockey game we played all season. That's what we have to do every game. If we play like that, we'll win a lot of games.” – Lightning goaltender Mike Smith, after Friday’s 5-1 rout of the New York Rangers.
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