Lightning dominate early, hold on late to tie Cup Final

22 Sep 2020 / 11:22 H.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning rode a three-goal first period and a 27-save performance from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to claim a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night in Edmonton to even the Stanley Cup Final at one win apiece.

    Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Kevin Shattenkirk all scored goals while Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each netted two assists for the Lightning.

    Game 3 of the best-of-seven championship series will be played Wednesday.

    After a disappointing opener, the Lightning looked to assert themselves early and did just that with a dominant opening 20 minutes

    Point started the scoring with his team's first power-play goal in five outings, taking Kucherov's pass and firing a one-timer that went off the stick of Stars defenseman Esa Lindell and into the top corner at 11:23. It snapped an 0-for-15 slump with the man-advantage and marked the first time in seven games Tampa Bay opened the scoring.

    Palat netted Tampa Bay's second power-play goal of the night, another tally set up by a brilliant cross-ice pass from Kucherov at the 14:22 mark.

    The goal rush was completed by Shattenkirk's long point shot 54 seconds later, which ricocheted off Lindell's knee before finding the twine and making it a 3-0 count. At that point, Dallas had only two shots on goal.

    However, Dallas was the better team after the first intermission and was rewarded with 5:17 remaining in the middle frame. Joe Pavelski put the Stars on the board, deflecting a point shot for the power-play marker to make it a 3-1 game. Pavelski was denied on a breakaway shortly after.

    The Stars kept the momentum into the third period and Mattias Janmark made it a one-goal deficit when he redirected John Klingberg's pass for a gift of a goal at 5:27, but that's as close as the Stars could make it.

    Anton Khudobin stopped 28 shots for the Stars, who were also dealt a blow to their lineup with forward Blake Comeau knocked from the game in the second period after he was on the receiving end of a hard hit from Ryan McDonagh.

    Although he's close to returning, Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos didn't play. The star center has yet to skate in a game since the league restarted. However, Jan Rutta, who last played Aug. 5, and Carter Verhaeghe dressed in place of Luke Schenn and Zach Bogosian.

    --Field Level Media

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