TAMPA — Nearly six weeks and four rescheduled games later than originally planned, the Lightning finally met the Stars for the first time since last year’s Stanley Cup final.
The buzz of the rematch was lost by how deep the teams are into their seasons. The Stars were the only Central Division opponent the Lightning had yet to play going into Saturday night’s game at Amalie Arena. The game showed why the teams are heading in very different directions.
While the Stars set the tone early playing bullishly, determined to show the Lightning they hadn’t forgotten the events in Edmonton in September, it wasn’t long before the Lightning took control on the way to winning 5-0.
“It’s a different year,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “And as much as we want to make a storyline about it, once you get on the ice, it’s a game and both teams want to win. It’s just different teams going at it.
“But they’re still a really good team, and that history will always be there, but I thought we had a really solid game tonight against a good team.”
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy got his second straight shutout, recording 20 saves, as the Lightning (14-4-1) won their fourth straight.
The Lightning scored three second-period goals, including a shorthanded one by center Anthony Cirelli, who returned to the lineup after missing six games due to injury.
“(Cirelli) just makes us deeper,”…