Khudobin and Stars Defeat Lightning in Game One, Win 4-1
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Jamie Oleksiak’s goal at 12:30 of the second was the difference in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals, carrying the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
Oleksiak’s goal gave the Stars a 2-1 lead, and came at the time when his team was out playing the Eastern Conference champions.
Tampa Bay looked like a different team to start the third period.
The Lightning were awarded its first two power plays of the game, while out shooting the Stars 22-2 during the frame.
But it was the current playoff MVP for the Stars, Anton Khudobin, that continued to do what he has done all playoffs long--come up big.
Khudobin made a total of 35 saves, and despite not being tested often through the game’s first two periods, the Stars goaltender was able to make big saves for his team, keeping the game close early.
The Lightning pulled their starter, Andrei Vasilevskiy, with four minutes to go in the third while trailing 3-1, in an attempt to make a comeback with the extra attacker.
Instead, Georgetown, Ontario native Jason Dickson scored an empty netter, ending any hopes of a Lightning resurgence and solidifying a game one victory for the Stars.
Dallas entered game one of the Stanley Cup Finals well rested, not playing since Monday night, when they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime of game five of the Western Conference Finals.
For the Lightning, they advanced to the finals on Thursday night, defeating the New York Islanders in double overtime.
Tampa Bay made its first Stanley Cup Finals appearance on Saturday night for the first time since 2015, when they were ousted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the series.
Joel Hanley scored his first career NHL goal to open the scoring in the series--beating Vasilevskiy in the slot, giving the Stars a 1-0 lead at 5:40 of the first period.
The Lightning responded to Hanley’s ice breaker seven minutes later on only their fourth shot of the game--Yani Gourde was credited with this sixth of the playoffs after deflecting the puck off his skate, hitting Stars forward Roope Hintz and then trickling into his own net.
The two goals scored in the first period, one for each team, accounted for 22% of the shots taken in the frame, as the Stars left the period leading 5-4 in the shots category.
Game seven standout in the second round against Colorado, Joel Kiviranta, made an impact with less than 30 seconds in the second period.
The Finnish, rookie forward scored the third Stars goal of the game, extending his team’s lead to 3-1.
Esa Lindell and John Klingberg were credited with the assists on Kiviranta’s goal, adding to the Stars NHL-high 58 points from their defenseman in the playoffs.
Lightning forward Patrick Maroon was issued a 10-misconduct after time expired in the second period, after shooting the puck intentionally into the Stars bench.
Dallas’ appearance in the finals on Saturday night was the first time since 2000 “Texas’ Team” has played for the Stanley Cup, after capturing one of sports most iconic trophies in 1999.
Game two of the Stanley Cup Finals will go on Monday night at 8:00 PM EST, when the Stars will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead, and become two wins away from winning the franchise’s second Cup.