Lightning Tie Cup Finals Series While Surviving Near Comeback Effort from Stars
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, September 21, 2020
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s offensive explosive in the first period was the difference in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals, as they defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Monday night.
The Eastern Conference champions scored two goals within a span of 54 seconds in the opening frame to extend its lead to 3-0.
With the win, the Lightning have tied the series at one.
After entering the game on a 0/15 goalless streak on the power play, the Lightning opened the scoring with the man advantage courtesy of Brayden Point.
Point’s opening marker came 25 seconds after the Stars were penalized.
The Lightning then added another power play goal only three minutes later when Ondrej Palat beat Stars starter Anton Khudobin, giving his team a 2-0 advantage.
Kevin Shattenkirk quickly added another marker, scoring Tampa’s first even strength goal of the night and third overall, as the first period ended with the Lightning leading 3-0.
Both Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov were credited assists on two of Tampa’s goals in the first frame.
Dallas took four penalties Monday night, adding up to a total of seven taken in the last four periods of play, dating back to game one.
The Stars had previously played a nightmarish first period earlier in the playoffs--it was in round two against the Colorado Avalanche, and Dallas trailed 5-0 after 20 minutes.
For Stars fans everywhere, the first period of game two of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals must have been all too familiar.
After the Lightning took three straight penalties in the second period, Joe Pavelski finally beat Lightning starter Andrei Vasilevskiy on a tip in front of the net to score Dallas’ first goal of the game.
The goal is Pavelski’s team-leading 10th goal of the playoffs.
The Stars outshot the Lightning 18-5 in the second period, but failed to beat Vasilevskiy more than once, and as a result, could not capitalize on Tampa’s subpar performance in the period.
Mattias Janmark scored his first goal of the playoffs halfway through the third period to get the Stars closer and within one.
Dallas’ inability to test Vasilevskiy in the third like they did in the second ended any hopes of a comeback, as they only struck five shots on goal.
Kucherov and Eric Chernak left the game for the Lightning in the first period, with what appeared to be injuries to both, however, the two returned to the ice just minutes later.
Dallas was the more rested team entering the series--as for Tampa Bay, the injuries across the roster for the entirety of the postseason have been well documented.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos did not play Monday night, and hasn’t suited up for a game since February 25.
Game three of the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals will go Wednesday, when either Tampa Bay or Dallas will take a 2-1 series lead at 8:00 PM EST.