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Stars Take on Stamkos-Less Lightning

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Afternoon matinee hockey on a rainy afternoon in Dallas.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a rainy day in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The kind of day that makes you want to laze in bed all day and not leave the house. In other words, perfect for an early afternoon matinee hockey game.

Fresh off of a 3-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes last night, the Stars traveled to Tampa Bay to take them on at 5 PM CST today. So make your favorite kind of rainy day dinner, pull up a chair, and tune to FSSW Plus with us today.

The Stars put up a great defensive effort versus a desperate team trying to make the playoffs in the East. They’ll face an equally desperate squad today chasing that same Wild Card spot.

Currently, the Boston Bruins are in possession of that last playoff spot. The Lightning, with a game in hand, sit just four points back. A win today would put them just two points back and add some pressure to the Bruins in the last few games of the season.

So Dallas gets the chance to play spoiler to another team with a win today. However, Stars fans could also take some solace in the opposite outcome: the Lightning win, and if they can get the job done down the stretch, the team that traded Tyler Seguin to Big D could also be hitting the golf course in a week.

For Tampa Bay, they’ll be without captain Steven Stamkos today. He’s been skating and looking like he’s approaching return from a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee that took him down in November.

For my money, Stamkos has to be one of the unluckiest NHLers in the last three years. The amount of injuries he has had to deal with is hellacious.

Both teams have had their share of injuries this year. They’re nearly identical in man-games lost (228 for Dallas and 233 for Tampa Bay). It’s wreaked havoc on team chemistry, and this season did not turn out the way either fan base — or front office, for that matter — anticipated.