Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) reaches for the puck in front of Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (24) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. The Stars won 1-0. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Tampa Bay’s playoff clincher spoiled

With the chance to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lighting were not able to capitalize as they lost 1-0 to Dallas. With the loss, Tampa Bay will have to wait until Thursday for another attempt to clinch a postseason birth.

Goalies stole the show as Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Dallas’ Scott Wedgewood combined for 53 saves on 54 shots. Wedgewood, who finished with 25 saves, earned his fifth career shutout as a result of his performance.

https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1514100579697631238

On the other side, Vasilevskiy did his part with a game-high 28 saves on 29 shots.

However, neither team’s offense could find the back of the net for the majority of the game. Both teams went 0-for-3 on power play opportunities, and the games’ only goal came with less than five minutes to go in regulation.

With 4:50 left in the third period, Dallas’ Roope Hintz put the Stars on the board with his 32nd goal of the season.

https://twitter.com/DallasStars/status/1514095622856577026

Road to the Stanley Cup

The win boosts the Stars’ playoff hopes as they are in a battle for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Currently, Dallas (88 points) owns the second of two Wild Card spots behind Nashville (89 points). Behind Dallas are Las Vegas (85 points), Vancouver (82 points) and Winnipeg (81 points). To officially clinch, the Stars would need to win seven of their final nine games.

Tampa Bay came into Tuesday’s game with three scenarios that would send them to the postseason.

With the loss and the Islanders defeating Pittsburgh 5-4 in a shootout, the Lightning’s postseason celebration will have to wait.

However, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions are still in a good spot to clinch a playoff birth. With nine games left in the 2021-2022 season, Tampa Bay needs just one win to earn its fifth-straight postseason appearance. The Lightning begin a five-game home stretch when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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