The Dallas Stars are sitting on the brink of elimination against a powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning team. While their Game 1 win was fun, it relied heavily on the performance of goaltender Anton Khudobin. Now that the Bolts have him figured out, there’s not much standing in the way of their Cup dream.
Dallas isn’t giving up that easily, though, finding ways to tire out Andrei Vasilevskiy all the same.
Last night could’ve been anyone’s game. Tonight shouldn’t be any different. Here’s everything you’ll need to know:
In Their Words
From SB Nation’s Defending Big D:
Ultimately, the Tampa Bay Lightning executed when they needed to and Dallas didn’t. Without a shutdown line, the Stars continue to struggle in controlling the Lightning’s skilled players. Neither Anton Khudobin nor Andrei Vasilevskiy has been unbeatable, but it’s Khudobin who has needed to be.
Losing Roope Hintz to an uncalled trip that sent him into the boards put an end to what had been, to that point in the game, a useful speed line. It also removed a player who had filled in on the already hurting penalty kill. The Lightning have found their power play, but it hasn’t been against the Stars’ best.
It isn’t the national network narrative, but Dallas is putting up a fight in the Stanley Cup Final with three Texas Stars pulling double-digit minutes. Unless Rick Bowness goes conservative and inserts Justin Dowling into the lineup for Saturday night, that number could go up to four.
From SB Nation’s Raw Charge:
Both Jon Cooper and Rick Bowness have said that this year’s Stanley Cup might be the hardest to win, and the Lightning have a monstrous task ahead of them if they want to do that tonight. Not only are they playing to clinch on the second-half of a back-to-back, but since last night’s game went to overtime, both teams will undoubtedly be more tired coming into Game 5.
That means this can go one of two ways: one goalie posts a shutout or the Stars and Lightning run up the score with even more goals than last night. And regardless of whether or not Steven Stamkos can play tonight, the Lightning will need their best performance of the season against a Stars team that will be playing with more desperation than ever before.
DALLAS STARS (via NHL.com)
Jamie Benn — Joe Pavelski — Alexander Radulov
Joel Kiviranta — Tyler Seguin - Corey Perry
Mattias Janmark — Jason Dickinson — Denis Gurianov
Andrew Cogliano — Justin Dowling — Nick Caamano
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak — Miro Heiskanen
Joel Hanley — Andrej Sekera
Expected Scratches: Ty Dellandrea, Jason Robertson, Gavin Bayreuther, Thomas Harley, Landon Bow, Taylor Fedun
Unfit to Play: Blake Comeau, Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, Stephen Johns, Ben Bishop
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, Zach Bogosian, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Scott Wedgewood
Unfit to Play: Steven Stamkos
How to Watch
Puck Drop: 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Location: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB
Broadcast/Streaming: NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS, FuboTV
Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1
Game 2: Stars 2, Lightning 3
Game 3: Lightning 5, Stars 2
Game 4: Lightning 5, Stars 4 (OT)
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