Preview: Lightning square off with Stars, look to close out road trip on high note

TV: FOX Sports Sun

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 8 p.m.


In acquiring a veteran presence in forward Andrew Cogliano, the Dallas Stars paid a price.

Young forward Devin Shore was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday to bring in Cogliano, 31, who has collected three goals and 11 points in 46 games this season.

“In acquiring Andrew, we are able to add a conscientious player who brings a veteran-presence to our room,” Stars general manager Jim Nill told the media following the trade. “His explosive speed, 200-foot game and iron-man mentality will help our team both on and off the ice.”

Cogliano is signed through the 2020-21 season with a $3.25 million cap hit. He’s expected to be in the lineup when the Stars host the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Shore, 24, is signed through 2019-20 with a $2.3 million cap hit. He’s collected five goals and 17 points in 42 games this season.

Tampa Bay Lightning on FOX Sports Sun

The Stars (23-19-4, 50 points) are currently third in the Central Division, but have been a middling team for more than a month. Dallas has dropped three of four games, including a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

The Stars have scored just six goals in their last four games and have scored two or fewer goals in 10 of their last 13 games. Worse yet, head coach Jim Montgomery questioned his team’s effort after the St. Louis loss.

“The last two games have been a real gut punch for me personally because I just don’t think I’m able to get across how we’re supposed to execute,” Montgomery said. “The more important part is – never mind the execution, effort can overcome a lot of mistakes — but there’s not the effort there right now to overcome mistakes.”

In response, Jason Spezza told the Dallas News, “It falls on the individuals. It’s pro hockey. It’s not rah-rah, get everybody going. You have to zone in on yourself. You have to create your own routines. You have to do what works best for you. If it’s not working, you got to change something and try to make sure you’re ready to start.”

The Stars are in the sites of an ornery Lightning squad. Tampa Bay (35-9-2, 72 points) is coming off a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday, which snapped a three-game winning streak.

The loss wasn’t what had the Lightning upset. It was the performance, which came on the heels of a couple of substandard victories.

“There’s really no excuse,” defenseman Ryan McDonagh told reporters after game. “We’ve been going over it and working on things in meetings and talking about it amongst ourselves, and maybe we needed to feel what it’s like to get kicked in the teeth and not come back. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned here and we can realize the way we played the last half of that game for sure was a little bit hungrier for sure, more assertive, and in units of five. That’s what we need to do right from the start.”