The Lightning and Stars meet tonight in Dallas for the first and only time this season. This rare match up features a couple of teams outside of the top eight in their respective conferences. As the Lightning look to build on a 5-3 victory Tuesday night over the Boston Bruins, the Stars look to end a 3 game losing streak. The Lightning have just ended their losing skid, and will look for a second consecutive wins for the first time since the late December home stand sweep.
Both the Stars and the Lightning have had somewhat disappointing seasons thus far. For the Stars, a hot start early this season had the team competing for the top spot in the Western Conference. Now, the Stars sit in 10th place, although only 2 points out of 8th. The Lightning have had the tougher time of the two teams. After an 0-6-1 stretch, the Lightning have dropped into a tie for last place in the Eastern conference. This comes as a huge disappointment for a team that was only two goals away from a Finals appearance last year. A big issue for the Lightning this year has been play on the road. Tampa Bay holds a 6-16-3 record away from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, which is nearly the worst road record in the league. The Lightning must also focus on the special teams play tonight against the Stars. The Lightning are 13.73% on the powerplay (27th in the league) and are 79.21% (25th). Goaltending has also been an issue. Mathieu Garon will likely start against the Stars tonight. Garon is coming off a solid 26 save performance against the Boston Bruins Tuesday night.
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