An offensively dominant second period, along with a defensively stout third, allowed the Dallas Stars to take a 1-0 series lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Tampa Bay was just not able to convert any of their many chances in the final period — including multiple power plays — leading to a 4-1 Stars win.
It was far from the most exciting start to the game as each team seemed to be shaking off nerves that come with playing in a championship series. The Stars were able to gain composure first, get a strong forecheck going and force a costly Tampa Bay turnover to give Joel Hanley a chance to score the first goal of the series. The Lightning’s opener was a bit less convincing, with a shot ricocheting off a defender’s skate and making it into the back of the net to knot things up at one goal apiece.
Dallas dominated the second period, keeping the Lightning on their back heels and putting two goals past Andrei Vasilevskiy to have a 3-1 lead going into the final period. That’s when Tampa Bay started taking things more seriously on the offensive end, but ultimately the attempts resulted in nothing tangible. Anton Khudobin, who had never started a playoff game prior to this season, served as the impenetrable force that the Lightning were unable to get past to even get one goal back on their opponents.
Dallas’ Cinderella story is now three games away from its fairy tale ending, and the franchise’s first title since 1999. The Lightning will need a strong response in Game 2 before this unravels into yet another postseason failure.
CBS Sports had you covered with all of the live updates, highlights and goals from this Stanley Cup Final opener. Check out the live feed down below for all of that coverage.
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GOAL! Stars 4, Lightning 1
Dickinson picks up the puck at center ice, he fires it at the empty net and that should pretty much be it for Dallas, a wonder given this period was all Tampa Bay.
The Lightning have started pulling their goalie. They just did so for the second time with 2:20 left in the third.
Roope Hintz has to limp off the ice towards the bench (4:59 3rd period)
Tyler Seguin gets booked for the trip. Power play for Tampa Bay for two minutes.
Penalty killed (8:46 3rd period)