The NHL is set up with a great slate of hockey throughout Tuesday night. Eight games are up on the board throughout March 2. One of these games will be between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars. These two teams will look for a big win as they rematch after meeting in the Stanley Cup Finals last season. This game will drop the puck at around 8:30 PM Eastern time.
Tampa Bay has started out this season with a record of 14-4-1, which has them in the top spot of the Central Division. The Lightning have won four games in a row entering this one and will look to keep it going. Tampa Bay is in a tight race for the top of the Central Division and will look to further their grasp on the top spot with a win in this one.
The Stars have put up a record of 6-6-4 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in last place of the Central Division. Dallas has lost two straight and eight of their last nine. The Stars will look to find some life in this one. The Stars have had a tough opening start to the season with all their cancellations. Dallas will look to get going quickly in this one to try and get out of last place.
These two teams have had very opposite starts to the season. The Lightning have bene really strong to open up this season, while Dallas has struggled since their 4-0 start to the season. The Stars will look to get going quickly in this one as they try to get some revenge after losing to Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Final. I expect Dallas to keep this one much closer on Tuesday night.
The Lightning and the Stars met up twice in the regular season last season. Tampa Bay hosted the first game on December 19. Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov each had a goal and an assist as Dallas was able to win 4-3 in overtime. The Stars hosted the second game on January 27. Jamie Benn scored two goals to lift Dallas to another 3-2 win in overtime.
These two teams met up in September in the delayed Stanley Cup Finals. The Stars won the first game of the series 4-1, but Tampa Bay bounced back to win three straight to take a 3-1 series lead. Dallas stayed alive with a win in double overtime in Game 5. The Lightning finished it off though with a 2-0 win in Game 6 to hoist the Stanley Cup.
The first game of this season’s series was on February 27 in Tampa Bay. Anthony Cirelli and Steven Stamkos both had a goal and an assist on the night for the Lightning. Tyler Johnson and Mikhail Sergachev both added two assists as well. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 20 shots he faced as Tampa Bay dominated for a 5-0 win at home.
The Stars were able to take both games in the regular season last season, but it was Tampa Bay who won the ultimate prize in the Stanley Cup. The Lightning then opened up this season series with a dominant performance. Tampa Bay will look to keep it going in this one as they visit Dallas. If the Stars can get going quickly in this one, it could give them a win at home though.
The Lightning have been really strong on both sides of special teams so far this season. Tampa Bay has capitalized on 17 of their 63 power play opportunities, which is a 27 percent power play. The Lightning have killed off 59 of the 67 penalties against them, which is an 88.1 percent kill rate. Tampa Bay will look to keep this up in this one.
Dallas has had a strong start on the power play so far this season. The Stars have scored 17 goals on 61 power play chances, which is a 27.9 percent success rate. Dallas has struggled a little bit on the penalty kill so far this season though. The Stars have given up 13 goals on their opponents 59 power play attempts, which is a 78 percent penalty kill.
Tampa Bay has the edge on special teams in this one. Both teams have had strong starts to the season on the power play, but the Lightning have been much better on the penalty kill. Tampa Bay went 2-2 on the power play in the first game between these two teams, while the Stars went 0-6 on the power play. Dallas will need to capitalize on their power play chances more if they want a shot in this one.
Curtis McElhinney will likely get the start between the pipes for Tampa Bay in this one. McElhinney has started 3 games this season, going 2-1 in his games. He has put up a save percentage of .896 and a 2.70 GAA in those games. McElhinney’s last start was against the Carolina Hurricanes on February 25, where he stopped 31 of 32 shots to lead the Lightning to a win.
I expect Jake Oettinger to get the nod in the net for the Stars on Tuesday night. Oettinger has earned a record of 2-1-3 throughout his 6 starts this season. He has posted a .913 save percentage and a GAA of 2.31 in his starts. Oettinger finished with 32 saves on 35 shots in his last start against the Florida Panthers, which was not enough for the win.
Oettinger has slightly better numbers to this point in the season. Oettinger stopped all five shots he faced after stepping in for Khudobin in the Stars last game against Tampa Bay. Oettinger will look to build off that in this one. McElhinney’s last outing was a strong performance against a dangerous Carolina team and he will look to keep it going in this one as well.
The Stars have hit a big wall as of late, but I think they can bounce back in this one. Tampa Bay embarrassed Dallas on Saturday night and I think the Stars will come out quickly in this one. If Dallas can get their power play going, they could give themselves the edge. Dallas will also need Oettinger to come out hot in this one to help them grab a win.
BetOnline has the Lightning listed as a -173 against the money line on Tuesday night. This implies that Tampa Bay will win this game around 63.4 percent of the time. The Lightning have been much better this season, but the Stars are still out for revenge after losing in the Stanley Cup. With this game back at home for Dallas, I really like the value on the Stars as big underdogs.