Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) celebrates with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) after the team defeated the New Jersey Devils during an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Lightning look for a win against the Stars and a playoff spot

The Tampa Bay Lightning are facing the Dallas Stars at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN with a chance to clinch playoff birth.

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The Lightning’s last game

The Lightning are coming off of a 5-0 home win against Buffalo. In addition, goalie Brian Elliot saved all 28 shots on goal. According to nhl.com, Elliot was named the Player of the Week.

On the offensive end, Corey Perry, Ondrej Palat, Brandon Hagel, Nikita Kurcherov and Ross Colton all scored goals.

The Stars last game

Meanwhile,  the Stars are coming off of a 6-4 win on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks. In the Sunday game, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and Tyler Seguin all scored. Robertson scored back-to-back goals in the second period, just over three minutes apart.

The Lightning and Stars previous matchup

The Bolts and the Stars faced each other for the first time this season in Tampa on Jan. 15. The Lightning came up with a 3-1 win. In the mid-January match up, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 19 of 20. Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point, Ross Colton and Alex  Killorn scored. Furthermore, Right-wing Nikita Kucherov recorded two assists to Point and Colton.

In the first-game between the two teams, Dallas Stars Esa Lindell scored the only goal for the Stars in the first period.

Possible ways Tampa can clinch a playoff spot

According to NHL Public Relations the Lightning can clinch a playoff spot tonight with the following scenarios:

  • A win against Dallas

OR

  • One point vs. Dallas and Pittsburgh defeats NY Islanders

OR

  • Pittsburgh defeats NY Islanders in regulation

 

Based on these scenarios, the Bolts are in the driver’s seat punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

In the 2022 regular season, Tampa is in third in the Atlantic Division Standings recording 96 points. On the other hand, Dallas is fifth in the Central Division Standings with 86 points.

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