DALLAS — Roope Hintz scored with 4:50 remaining and the Dallas Stars forced Tampa Bay to wait at least another day to clinch a playoff berth, beating the Lightning 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The Lightning could have clinched their fifth straight playoff berth and eighth in the past nine years with a win. The two-time defending champions beat the Stars in the Stanley Cup Final for the first of those two titles in Canada’s 2020 playoff bubble.
Good scoring chances on both sides had proved empty before a Jason Robertson shot created a scramble that ended with Joe Pavelski going from behind the baseline to Hintz in the slot.
Scott Wedgewood stopped 25 shots for his first shutout since joining the Stars in a trade with Arizona. It was the fifth of his career.
Dallas started the night two points ahead of Vegas for the second of two wildcards in the Western Conference. The Stars have a game in hand over the Golden Knights, who were playing later.
The Stars beat Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for just the second time in 17 games. He has five of his 28 career shutouts against Dallas. Vasilevskiy made 28 saves.
Luke Glendening created several shorthanded chances in the second period and nearly scored an empty net late as the Stars held off a wild 6-on-5 run in the final minute.
Tyler Seguin, stung by a blocked shot earlier, was hit again in the final 10 seconds when he blocked a Victor Hedman shot.
Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell was penalized twice in the second period, but the Stars found themselves with better scoring chances than the Lightning on both disadvantages.
After Lindell was called for cross-checking midway through the second, Dallas spent most of the second minute in their offensive end, and Vasilevskiy had to make two saves on shots from Glendening.
Tampa Bay’s Hintz and Nikita Kucherov collided near center ice in the second period, leaving both players stunned as they picked up sticks that had been dropped. Kucherov went straight to his bench. Both stayed in the game.
Glendening had another chance in the dying seconds of Lindell’s high stick penalty late in the second, but a backhand went just wide.
NOTES: Dallas’ Jamie Benn and Tampa Bay’s Nicholas Paul had a long fight without any significant punches thrown or landed midway through the first period. It finally ended when Paul lost his footing as Benn threw a few punches at him that went past him. … Vladislav Namestnikov of the Stars did not return after the first period due to a lower-body injury.
Lightning: A five-game homestand, the longest of the season, begins Thursday against Anaheim. Tampa Bay is on an 11-of-13 home streak.
Stars: Minnesota visits Thursday. The winning team has scored at least six goals in each of the three meetings this season. Dallas has 7-4 and 6-3 wins. The Wild won Game 1 7-2.
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