DALLAS — The Lightning had already lost consecutive games once this season and wasn't going to do it again. Tampa Bay bounced back from Sunday's loss to beat Dallas 2-0 on Tuesday.
The Lightning's first goal took nice plays by Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat. Stamkos picked up the puck on his way into the zone, streaking toward the net. He pulled the puck across his body to keep it away from winger Alexander Radulov then immediately backhanded it back through the zone to Palat on the other win. Palat was there for the one-timer and the Lightning were up 1-0 at 7:55 of the first period.
It was the start the Lightning needed, after poor first periods in each of the last three games. Coach Jon Cooper predicted before the game that the start wouldn't be a problem, saying the team had addressed it.
He was right, but this time Tampa Bay faded in the second period. Four penalties (resulting in three power plays) didn't help matters, but Dallas dominated the period. The Stars outshot Tampa Bay 13-2. That's right, two, which matches the season low (third period in the win over Vegas on Oct. 26).
The Lightning's penalty kill saved it, though, including an extended delayed penalty that didn't turn into a power play but felt like one. And the kill got help from the Stars a couple of times.
Victor Hedman took two penalties, holding and unsportsmanlike conduct, about midway through the second period. As the Lightning killed off the first, the referee threw his arm up for a tripping call on Anthony Cirelli. While the delay dragged on, Jamie Benn was jostled, ran into and flipped over goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. His goaltending interference matched Cirelli's trip and the Lightning didn't have to face what would have been an extended five-on-three.
Benn killed a Lightning penalty again in the third period. Only 13 seconds into Mathieu Joseph's tripping penalty, Benn tripped up Cedric Paquette and headed back to the box.
In all, however, the Stars had six power plays (one being those 13 seconds) and the Lightning kept them off the board. Not only that, Dallas only had 10 shots on the power play.
"When you're holding onto a 1-0 lead, it's hard to get anything going when you're killing that off," Cooper said. "But they did a phenomenal job killing that off and when pucks did get by, [Vasilevskiy] was there. He was in the zone tonight and put a goose egg up on the board."
Mikhail Sergachev notched his second goal of the season. He has been hot offensive recently, getting involved on the rush a lot, but this one came from the defenseman's traditional spot on the blue line. Anthony Cirelli won the faceoff straight back to Sergachev at the point. He took his time and then fired the shot on net.
Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his third shutout of the season. Making 32 saves in the game.