If the Dallas Stars hold up and make the playoffs, you might look at Tuesday night’s game as one of the main reasons for that. The Tampa Bay Lightning has had the stars since they played each other in the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago. Andrei Vasilevskiy was close to perfect against Dallas and almost came out on Tuesday as well.
With the exception of Roope Hintz’s lone goal and Scott Wedgwood’s play on the other side, Tampa may have come out with another win. But, unfortunately, they did not. And that brings me to the point I was trying to make at the beginning. We can’t look at this match until after the regular season is over. Until then, there is still a lot of work to be done.
This work starts tonight. Another team linked to the playoffs is waiting for the stars. Tonight, though, Minnesota Wild. After playing four out of five games against Eastern Conference teams, the Stars have played the last nine games against the Western Conference.
Another bright spot for the stars is that only three of their final matches are against teams currently in the playoffs. Now, that’s a bit misleading because they have a big game coming up against the Vegas Golden Knights. This could have a lot of implications for the playoff. Or perhaps, the playoffs will be closed by then for the stars. We have to wait two weeks to find out.
Possible lines for Dallas
Jason Robertson (21) – Rob Hintz (24) – Joe Pavlesky (16)
Jimmy Benn (14) – Tyler Seguin (91) – Denis Guryanov (34)
Michael Raffle (18) – Radek Hatchah (12) – Luke Glending (11)
Alexander Radulov (47) – Jacob Peterson (40) – Marian Studenek (43)
Ryan Sutter (20) – Miro Heiskanen (4)
Issa Lindell (23) – John Klingberg (3)
Thomas Harley (55) – Jani Hakanba (2)
Scott Wedgwood (41)
Jake Oettinger (29)
On March 6, Wild lost to the Stars 6-3. That ended a period in which Wild lost eight out of 10 matches. It looked like they were in danger of being landed by the stars for third place in the division.
Since then, Wild has been a completely different team. They have won 13 of their last 18 matches, including winning seven in a row. Now they sit in second place in the division with 96 points. You know they’re coming tonight with a chip on their shoulder. Especially with how bad Dallas beat them last time.
Possible wild lines
Kirill Kaprizov (97) – Ryan Hartman (38) – Mats Zuccarello (36)
Matthew Baldy (12) – Frederic Goudreau (89) – Kevin Viala (22)
Brandon Dohemi (21) – Joel Erickson (14) – Marcos Foligno (17)
Nicolas Desloriers (44) – Tyson Jost (10) – Nick Bjstad (27)
Jacob Middleton (5) – Jared Spurgeon (46)
Jonas Brody (25)
Jordi Penn (8) – Alex Goligowski (47)
Marc-Andre Fleury (29)
Cam Talbot (33)