Goals could only be scored at one end of the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday night. Luckily for the Dallas Stars, that was the end at which they shot twice. The Stars scored three goals in the first and two in the third while the Tampa BayLightning made it a game with two of their own in the second as Dallas beat the Lightning 5-2 to take over the eighth and final playoff spot by one point. The Stars couldn't have drawn up a better opening 20 minutes if they'd tried. Jamie Benn opened the scoring and snapped a six-game goalless drought just 40 seconds into the frame when Alex Goligoski found him all by his lonesome on the far post, and he doubled the lead six minutes later with a simple wrist shot through a Vernon Fiddler screen. A pretty nasty head-pick of an interference by Radko Gudas that nearly took off the head of Antoine Roussel earned the Stars a five-minute power play for a match penalty, but Dallas could neither convert on that nor their two-minute opportunity earlier in the frame. Tyler Seguin made that sting a little less when he took advantage of a botched coverage off a faceoff to make it 3-0 Dallas. The only blemish in the frame, beyond the face the power play couldn't get anything going, occurred with about 30 seconds left when Roussel was caught slashing Steven Stamkos. The Stars managed to kill it off, but the Bolts used the momentum from that and some poor coverage from the Cody Eakin line on Stamkos to get one back two minutes into the period. Tampa continued to hold onto the momentum with sustained possession, and they took advantage six minutes later themselves when Colton Sceviour got lazy on his coverage and let point man Andrej Sustr sneak around him on the back door. Lehtonen saved the first shot, but Sustr was still unmarked for the rebound, and he roofed it under the crossbar. The Bolts continued to press, but the Stars got a break when Ryan Malone cut open Tyler Seguin's chin with a high stick, earning the Stars a four-minute reprieve from the pressure. The first two minutes were a dud, and indeed only an Erik Cole backcheck helped break up a shorthanded breakaway chance for the Bolts. The second two minutes looked better, but very little got through to Bishop.
Stars Defeat Lightning 5-2, Regain Final Playoff Spot
Defending Big D | Apr 6