Stars looking for strong 60 minutes against Lightning

Stars looking for strong 60 minutes against Lightning

Coach Peter DeBoer would like to see his Dallas Stars take care of business Saturday afternoon against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

And he wouldn’t mind at all if they did it in 60 minutes of play.

The Central Division-leading Stars returned from the All-Star break on Monday with a 3-2 shootout win after blowing a third-period, two-goal lead against the Anaheim Ducks.

Tyler Seguin accounted for the game-clinching score in the third period, and goaltender Jake Oettinger denied Adam Henrique in the bottom of the frame to preserve the victory and provide some relief for the Stars.

In three-on-three overtime so far, Dallas is 3-8 after going 10-4 last season.

In the final week before the break, the Stars saw three opponents rally in the five-minute extra session – New Jersey Devils’ Jack Hughes, Carolina Hurricanes’ Martin Necas and Buffalo Sabres’ Owen Power – to rob Texas of three extra points.

“Sometimes when things start happening like this in overtime, you start thinking about it maybe a little too much instead of just going out and playing,” Seguin said after the Jan. 27 loss to the Devils.

Added DeBoer as his club went into recess, “I’ll be sitting in a dark corner somewhere in Florida trying to figure this out in overtime.”

The Stars played the sixth game of a season-long eight-game homestand on Wednesday, topping the Minnesota Wild 4-1. Captain Jamie Benn, Radek Faksa and Jani Hakanpaa scored in a three-goal second period and Oettinger made 38 saves to improve to 23-7-7.

Since defeating Dallas in six games in the Stanley Cup Finals in September 2020, the Lightning are 8-3-0 against the Stars, including eight meetings when the teams were division rivals in 2021.

More importantly for coach Jon Cooper and the Lightning, however, is that they got back to winning ways after back-to-back losses to the Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks (0-1-1).

On Thursday, Tampa Bay looked more like the club that finished the pre-break schedule with three straight wins over playoff teams than the one that was pummeled 7-1 by Florida and fell in overtime to lowly San Jose.

In a home sweep of the Colorado Avalanche in a Stanley Cup rematch, the Lightning dominated every facet of the game, from goaltending to special teams to even strength, in a resounding 5-0 shutout of the champions.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his team-record 29th career shutout and first of the season to help the Lightning earn points in a franchise-record 14th straight home game.

“A huge response, obviously,” said left wing Brandon Hagel, who scored twice on a three-point effort to extend his season total to 21 markers. “It wasn’t how we wanted to start after the break. … It was about the response tonight before we head out on the road.”

Tampa Bay is 22-5-1 when the game starts and is 21-0-1 when it leads after a period of play.

Defenseman Victor Hedman is sitting on 499 career assists in his bid to become the second active Swedish defenseman to reach 500, which would put him in the company of compatriot Erik Karlsson (560) of the Sharks.

–Field Level Media


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