Stars-Lightning Preview

The Tampa Bay Lightning boast one of the NHL's best home-ice advantages, something they hope continues into the playoffs after past postseason disappointment.

The Dallas Stars, clinging to slim playoff hopes, are looking to continue their successful track record in Tampa on Saturday against a Lightning team seeking its 15th win in 17 home games.

The Lightning (40-20-6) improved their Eastern Conference-leading home record to 25-6-1 in Thursday's 4-2 win over Toronto. Steven Stamkos recorded two assists, giving him eight points with four goals in his last five home games.

Tampa Bay's 25 home victories match a franchise record, done four times previously and as recently as last season, though this club could shatter that mark with nine home contests remaining.

"We want it to be a tough place to play," said Ryan Callahan, who scored his 21st goal and fourth in five home games. "We want teams to come in here and know we are good at home and they're going to get our best, and so far we've done that."

The Lightning are a league-leading plus-44 at home compared to plus-2 on the road, where they're 15-14-5. They're 6-9 at home in the postseason since winning the Stanley Cup in 2004, however, and lost their only two home playoff games in 2014 to Montreal.

"If we get into the playoffs, we've got to show that we can win at home in the playoffs," coach Jon Cooper told the team's official website. "But, different year, different team. We've grown together a little bit more, and I think you can see that in our play. To be able to come home, there's a real comfort being here."

Tyler Johnson scored two goals in Tampa Bay's 5-3 win at Dallas on Feb. 5, but the Stars are 9-2-0 in their last 11 trips to Tampa for an .818 winning percentage, the best of any team at Amalie Arena since 1996-97. The next-best mark is New Jersey's .647.

Dallas, eight points back of the second wild-card spot in the West, had lost six straight before back-to-back comeback wins over the Islanders and Panthers this week.

The Stars (29-26-10) trailed by one entering the third period of Thursday's visit to Florida before Alex Goligoski forced overtime in an eventual 4-3 shootout victory. They trailed 1-0 entering the third in a 3-2 overtime win against New York on Tuesday.

"We need wins now, and tonight was a good start," said Shawn Horcoff, who had a goal and an assist against the Panthers.

Dallas is still without Tyler Seguin, though he resumed skating with the team Thursday and could be back in the lineup next week, according to the league's official website. Seguin has been out since Feb. 13 due to a knee injury suffered on a low hit by Florida's Dmitry Kulikov.

The Stars are 3-5-2 since losing Seguin, who still ranks among the league's top 10 with 29 goals.

"You miss a guy like that. He's so dynamic. He can change the game in a couple of minutes of him having a few good shifts," said Jason Spezza, who has four goals and five assists in Seguin's absence. "It's been a big loss for us."

Spezza has 15 goals and 11 assists in 19 career games at Tampa.

Dallas is also expected to be without Trevor Daley for two to four weeks because of a lower-body injury suffered against the Islanders. Daley's 33 points are the second-most among the team's defensemen.

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