Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev provided all the offence and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was perfect between the pipes as the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning handed the Dallas Stars a 2-0 loss Tuesday night. Vasilevskiy made 35 saves - including 13 in each of the first two periods - to backstop the NHL-leading Lightning to a fourth win in five games. It's his third shutout of the season. Palat opened the scoring with a textbook off-the-rush goal at 7:55 of the first period.
Yanni Gourde's short touch pass at the offensive blue line sent Steven Stamkos into the offensive zone with speed and the puck. As three defenders converged on Stamkos, he made a nifty dish to a wide-open Palat, who buried a perfect one-timer for his seventh goal of the season. Both Palat and Stamkos are on four-game point-scoring streaks. Palat has netted three goals and one assist in his run, while Stamkos has one goal and five assists. Sergachev provided the much-needed insurance marker when he doubled the Tampa lead with his second goal of the season at 9:15 mark of the third period. Anthony Cirelli cleanly won the faceoff in Dallas territory, and Sergachev waited for the traffic to arrive in front of the net before wiring a long wrist shot.
The Lightning also received good news when Victor Hedman, who left Sunday's game at the New York Islanders after colliding with a referee, was able to suit up. While the Lightning continue to roll, Dallas is heading in the opposite direction. The Stars have lost three straight games and four of five outings, and only have themselves to blame for this defeat. While the Lightning have the league's best record, Dallas failed to convert on six power play chances, three in each of the final two periods. Goalie Anton Khudobin made 19 saves for Dallas, which acquired veteran forward Andrew Cogliano via trade on Monday and had him skate on a line with Jason Spezza and Erik Condra.
(With inputs from agencies.)