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Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars preview: Keep your composure and build off the win

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The series is tied, and it’s far from over.

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars: ROUND 4, GAME 3

Time: 8:00pm Eastern Time

Location: Rogers Place

Broadcast/Streaming: NBC, SN, TVA-S, CBC

Opponent SBNation Site: Defending Big D

Preview:

Good things finally came the Lightning’s way in Game 2, as their power play broke through for two goals and they scored three goals total in a period for the first time since blowing out the New York Islanders six games ago. Hopefully that carries over for the rest of the series, because the Lightning are going to have to take advantage of every opportunity they do get.

A lineup shake-up ahead of Game 2 proved to be a wise decision for Jon Cooper, who went back to the 12-6 lineup for the first time since Game 1 of the second round. Jan Rutta, who has apparently been healthy for weeks, finally got back into the lineup as the team sat Zach Bogosian and Luke Schenn (one of which was due to health reasons). Unless something changes, I’d expect Rutta to remain in the lineup tonight.

The biggest problem with Game 2 was the Lightning continued to take unnecessary penalties (oh, how I haven’t missed you), which allowed the Stars to claw their way back into it. Yanni Gourde’s retaliatory crosscheck for a hit on Blake Coleman was a prime example of what not to do for the rest of the playoffs.

The top line continued its strong play and it remains the one bright spot for a forward group that has otherwise been neutralized by the Stars defense. The Lightning need to find a way to get scoring from their other lines, because they shouldn’t have to rely on their big guns for production.

As for Steven Stamkos, I guess we’ll have to tune in tonight to find out. A fan can hope, though. Plus, Blake Comeau left the game after a hit from Ryan McDonagh and was declared ‘unfit’ for the rest of the game, so his status is also questionable for tonight. Regardless, now that the series is tied again, the Lightning have a big opportunity to build off the last win and take control.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forwards

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman

Cedric Paquette - Patrick Maroon - Carter Verhaeghe

Alexander Volkov, Mathieu Joseph, Mitchell Stephens

Injured: Steven Stamkos

Defense Pairs

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Kevin Shattenkirk

Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn

Goaltenders

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Dallas Stars

Forwards

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Mattias JanmarkJoe PavelskiDenis Gurianov

Andrew CoglianoJason DickinsonBlake Comeau

Joel KivirantaJustin DowlingCorey Perry

Defense Pairs

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg

Jamie OleksiakMiro Heiskanen

Joel HanleyAndrej Sekera

Goaltenders

Anton Khudobin

Jake Oettinger