Lightning (3-1-0, 6 Points) vs. Stars (4-0-0, 8 Points)
Season Series: The Lightning and Stars meet for the first and only time of the season tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The Big Story: Tampa Bay enters tonight as winners in three of its last four and is
undefeated at home this season. The Bolts have also gained points in their last two games at home against Dallas, and have collected points in their last four consecutive games overall against the Stars. For Dallas, former Lightning Stanley Cup champion Brad Richards is off to the best start of his career, as he comes in to Tampa to face off against his former team with nine points through four games this season after never totaling more than six points in four games prior to this season.
LIGHTNING – Tampa Bay returns home tonight after collecting four of six points on the team’s season-opening three-game road trip. Tonight is also the first of three home games at the St. Pete Times Forum this week, with an additional game being played on the road in Atlanta on Friday night. The Bolts arrived back home early Sunday morning after completing its road trip with a 6-0 defeat at the hands of the division rival Panthers. Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves in the Panthers win, handing the Lightning its first loss of the season while also snapping a three-game win streak. Florida’s victory also was the first in the last three meetings between the two Southeast Division clubs.
STARS – Dallas plays the first contest tonight of a two-game set away from home, traveling to Sunrise to take on the Panthers on Thursday night. The Stars are 4-0-0 entering tonight’s game and look to improve to 5-0-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Three of the club’s four wins this season have come in either overtime or the shootout, including its latest victory on Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. James Neal and Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist each, Mike Ribeiro scored the winning shootout goal, Brad Richards had a pair of assists, and Kari Lehtonen shrugged off a sluggish start to finish with 41 saves in the Stars' 3-2 come-from-behind win.
Who’s Hot: Steven Stamkos has scored in three of four and Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis and Steve Downie have collected four points in as many games for the Lightning. Dallas’ Brad Richards has nine points, including seven assists, in four games played this season and James Neal enters tonight with four points in half the number of games.
Quotable: “Stuff like that happens. It's a long season. We like the way we started the season and maybe this was the type of game where nothing was going to go our way.” – Simon Gagne, reacting to Saturday’s loss at Florida as the team looks to rebound starting tonight against the Stars
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