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Stars’ Offense Stumbles In 3-0 Loss To Lightning

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Two points out. One game in hand left. A rested Nashville squad on Saturday. The season hangs in the balance.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Starting a seven game road trip, Dallas had a chance to make a statement as they played in Tampa Bay against the defending champions. Especially when you factor in that a win ties them with Nashville for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. But it wasn’t meant to be as the Stars fell to the Lightning 3-0. Here’s how it happened.

First Period

The first period can be summed up by two words. Jake and Oettinger. Without his play in the first period, there’s no telling what the score would be after the first period.

Through the first 15 minutes of the period, the Lightning looked every bit the part of the defending Stanley Cup Champions. They were faster, more aggressive and put a lot more pucks at the net. Eight to be exact. Up until that time Dallas was being outshot 9-1.

Tampa got the only power play opportunity of the period as well. Jamie Benn was called for interference and the entire two minutes were spent inside the Stars defensive zone. Oettinger made the saves he needed to, however.

Then with just over five minutes to play in the period, Blake Comeau made an ill advised pass back to the middle of the ice. Jamie Oleksiak had the puck taken off his stick by Ondrej Palat. At that point, it was just a walk-in by Palat and the puck easily found its way to the back of the net. That’s the only scoring in the first period even though it could have been a lot worse.

Shots on Goal: Dallas 6 | Tampa Bay 14

Second Period

The Stars showed up in the second period. Well at least they started skating like they were finally awake. Unlike the first period, the Stars moved the puck at will through the second period. Dallas’ defense held the Lightning to only two shots on goal during this period. Dallas, on the other hand, took 12 shots. None, however, found the back of the net.

The defense played great during the period. The offense generated scoring chances. Not only that, but the Stars didn’t take a penalty in the period.

Shots on Goal: Dallas 12 (18 Total) | Tampa Bay 2 (16 Total)

Third Period

This period started like the first period for Dallas. The Lightning came out guns blazing offensively. It paid off for the Lightning as well. Dallas went on a power play almost eight minutes into the period when Anthony Corelli was called for high sticking.

Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t Dallas who cashed in. Forty seconds into the power play, John Klingberg was called for tripping Blake Coleman on a breakaway. The Plano native was awarded a penalty shot and he quickly buried the opportunity past Oettinger to give the Lightning a two goal advantage.

A Brayden Point empty netter put the game away for good and sent Dallas away with a 3-0 loss. Andrei Vasilevskiy got his fourth shutout of the year.

Shots on Goal: Dallas 2 (20 Total) | Tampa Bay 12 (28 Total)