Tampa Bay Lightning (33-21-5) at Dallas Stars (28-21-10)
|Date & Time||Saturday March 1, 2014, 3:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Dallas Stars -136 / Tampa Bay Lightning +124 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Tampa Bay Lightning will play their second game of a four-game road trip when they play the Dallas Stars on Saturday. It’s the first of two scheduled meetings this season.
The Lightning continue the funk that they’re in, losing five of their last seven games. Despite scoring two goals in the first period, they lost 3-2 to the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Scoring has not come easy for them lately, as they’ve scored just 10 goals in their last five games. That’s simply unacceptable for one of the better offensive teams in hockey. The good news is that goalie Ben Bishop has done his part in keeping the team in games, allowing just nine goals in his last five starts. The Lightening are 16-14-1-1 on the road this season.
The Stars won their first game back from the break on Thursday with a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. They’ve now won four of their last five games and are doing so with incredible defense. They’ve allowed only five goals in as many games, and goalie Kari Lehtonen has allowed one goal or less in six of his last nine starts. Offensively, they’ve scored 12 goals during this stretch, which isn’t a ton, but it doesn’t need to be with defense like that. The Stars are 15-9-3-3 on their home ice.
The Lightning are still missing the absence of center Valtteri Filppula, and it’s tough to back them until he returns. The team just can’t put the puck in the net with any consistency and the losses are starting to pile up. Meanwhile, Dallas has been playing remarkable defense, which should only add to Tampa Bay’s offense troubles.
You have to go with the Stars in this matchup given the way both teams have played over the last month.