Everyone gets one, as the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning have each walked away with a win two games into their Cup Final series. A win tonight means just two more wins to Christmas — er, the Stanley Cup. That’s as good of a motivation as it gets, I think.
Here’s what you need to know going into tonight:
In Their Words
From SB Nation’s Raw Charge:
The biggest problem with Game 2 was the Lightning continued to take unnecessary penalties (oh, how I haven’t missed you), which allowed the Stars to claw their way back into it. Yanni Gourde’s retaliatory crosscheck for a hit on Blake Coleman was a prime example of what not to do for the rest of the playoffs.
The top line continued its strong play and it remains the one bright spot for a forward group that has otherwise been neutralized by the Stars defense. The Lightning need to find a way to get scoring from their other lines, because they shouldn’t have to rely on their big guns for production.
From SB Nation’s Defending Big D:
Going into Game 3, there are certainly concerns about the Stars’ penalty kill, but those can be dealt with by some time in the film room. More concerning is the disintegration of the Dallas shutdown line. Already missing Radek Faksa, Blake Comeau went down with a brutal hit in the neutral zone in Game 2, leaving Andrew Cogliano as the lone FCC survivor to play in the third period.
If both Faksa and Comeau end up “unfit to play” for Game 3, the Stars find themselves needing to reinvent a line to match up with the Lightning top line. It’s going to need to come out of pieces and parts of other lines. It’s one thing to pull in Jason Dickinson to replace an injured Faksa, but there just isn’t a combination of center/right winger to play with Cogliano that mirrors what the FCC line does.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (via NHL.com)
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow — Yanni Gourde — Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon — Cedric Paquette — Carter Verhaeghe
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Kevin Shattenkirk
Mikhail Sergachev — Erik Cernak
Expected Scratches: Mathieu Joseph, Mitchell Stephens, Alexander Volkov, Braydon Coburn, Scott Wedgewood, Luke Schenn, Zach Bogosian
Unfit to Play: Steven Stamkos
DALLAS STARS (via NHL.com)
Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark — Joe Pavelski — Denis Gurianov
Joel Kiviranta — Roope Hintz — Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano — Jason Dickinson — Blake Comeau
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak — Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera — Joel Hanley
Expected Scratches: Nick Caamano, Ty Dellandrea, Jason Robertson, Gavin Bayreuther, Thomas Harley, Landon Bow, Justin Dowling, Taylor Fedun
Unfit to Play: Stephen Johns, Ben Bishop, Radek Faksa
How to Watch
Puck Drop: 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Location: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB
Broadcast/Streaming: NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, FuboTV
Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1
Game 2: Stars 2, Lightning 3
Game 3: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 4: Friday, Sept. 25, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 5: Saturday, Sept. 26, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 6: Monday, Sept. 28, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET