Playoff berth would have to wait again as Lightning fall to Stars 1-0 due to Scott Wedgewood’s tremendous performance in net. Tampa took a massive step back compared to the last game in a time where the team needed to string together a win streak. From the start of the game Dallas took command and never let it go. For Tampa a lack of production from the offense was their Achilles’s heel leading to yet another forgettable game in the month of April.
To start off, Pat Maroon nearly scored in the early seconds, but Scott Wedgewood was alert and prevented the goal. Minutes later Brayden Point generated a great chance on goal but could not find the back of the net. Early on Tampa looked poised and kept the pressure on the Stars defense. However, Dallas would get the first chance on the power play after Alex Killorn is called for tripping. On said power play Dallas generated their first scoring opportunity of the night but were stopped by Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasy remained to stay sharp despite the constant pressure from the Stars power play units. With just under 12 minutes to go Jaime Benn and Nick Paul drop the gloves. Scrap started due to a hit on Paul from Michael Haley that Paul did not take a liking to.
Stars silence Lightning offense
At the halfway point of the period a total of 7 shots on goal occurred between both teams. Stars stole the momentum away from Tampa looking more threatening on offense. Adding to the momentum Stars also contained the Lightning offense by limiting them to only 2 shots on goal through the first 12 minutes of play. However, Dallas coughed up a penalty giving the Bolts their first chance on the man advantage. Both teams started the game 0/1 on the power play but did play a steady game on the man advantage. Just before the period was ending Dallas received their second power play of the night after Brayden Point is called for tripping. To summarize, Stars would have 1:07 left on the power play to begin the second period after a scoreless first.
Goalies steal the show
Starting the period off with a power play the Stars looked to open up the scoring out of the gate. Once again, Lightning kill off the power play as the game remains scoreless. Next, the game would be a back and forth affair with both teams struggling to answer the opposing goaltender. Soon after, Bolts received their second power play of the night and nearly gave up a short-handed goal. Ultimately, Lightning were unable to score and Dallas again tilted the ice in their favor. Despite the tilt Dallas could not show anything for it thanks to Vasy bailing out his teammates.
Penalty kill remains perfect
Again, Seguin had another stellar opportunity to score but Vasilevskiy released a poke check to keep it out of harms way. For a team needing this win to clinch a playoff berth Tampa was not playing like they even wanted to do so tonight. Something has to spark the Bolts offense in order to shift the game in their favor before Dallas finds an answer to Vasy. Stars continued to out-shoot the Lightning yet could not light the lamp with minutes to go in the period. Then, Esa Lindell is sent to the box again this time for Hi-sticking on Steven Stamkos. Bolts went on the power play a third time and hoped to finally score a goal. Frustrations were had as the Stars penalty kill continued to silence the Lightning offense keeping the game scoreless heading into the 3rd period.
Following a turnover Mikhail Sergachev makes a careless move to get booked for tripping. As a result, Stars headed on the power play for the third time but generated only a shot on goal. Penalty kill for both sides were effective tonight in this scoreless affair with Dallas silencing the Bolts offense. Ondrej Palat almost opened the scoring but Wedgewood made the save of the night to keep the puck out. It would be a battle of the goaltenders with Vasy also making solid saves of his own to prevent Dallas from scoring.
Playoff berth will have to wait
Ultimately, Stars eventually opened the scoring with just under 5 minutes to go after being the dominate team all night. Roope Hintz took the perfect pass from Joe Pavelski and fired it past Vasy for the 1-0 lead. With over a minute to go the Bolts pull Vasilevskiy in hopes to tie the game and force overtime. All in all, Stars halted the Lightning from clinching a playoff berth thanks to an unforgettable performance by Scott Wedgewood. Dallas went on to win the game 1-0.
Three Stars of the Game
1st Star: Roope Hinz – 1 goal (Only goal of the game)
2nd Star: Scott Wedgewood – 25 save shutout
3rd Star: Andrei Vasilevskiy – Saved 28 of 29 shots faced.
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