A dramatic come-from-behind overtime victory over the Lightning on Feb. 18 at the American Airlines Center wasn’t the only reason why Dallas Stars’ players were in an uplifted mood. Their emotions also received a boost by the return of popular play-by-play announcer Dave Strader, who called his first of five games that evening.

Strader has been sidelined all season while undergoing treatment for a rare and aggressive form of bile duct cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. His treatment schedule enabled him to return to Dallas for a five-game homestand, beginning with Tampa Bay’s only visit to the ACC.

Strader received a rousing ovation from the crowd when he was shown on the scoreboard during a TV timeout during the first period. After the game, Stars players gathered at center ice to salute their beloved broadcaster.

“Dave was here today at our morning skate, and it just brings a smile to all of our faces seeing him,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “It was nice to get him back where he belongs. He brought us some luck. It was nice of our fans to give him a salute, and it was definitely nice as a group to salute him after the game.”

“I thought that (Strader being here) was very special,” said forward Tyler Seguin, who assisted on each of Antoine’s Roussel’s three goals. “I think everyone had a smile on their face this morning. It really lifted our spirits and I hope we lifted his (spirits).”

Roussel added that “seeing (Strader) here with his wife and showing up with big smiles on their faces with everything they’ve been through (was special); it’s been really hard for them and just seeing that positivity is huge. This win is really for him.”

Strader is accompanied in the booth by Daryl “Razor” Reaugh as the color analyst. Craig Ludwig joins Josh Bogorad and Brent Severyn on the pregame, intermission and postgame shows during that time.

Strader will call games against Arizona (Friday, Feb. 24), Boston (Sunday, Feb. 26 on radio only), Pittsburgh (Tuesday, Feb. 28) and the Islanders (Friday, March 2) before returning to upstate New York and resuming his treatment.

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