EDMONTON, Alberta (WFTS) – The Lightning's championship celebration plans will have to wait as the Dallas Stars force a Game 6 after beating Tampa Bay 3-2 in double overtime.
Saturday's game marked the second of a back-to-back, with the first game also going into overtime, ending in a Tampa Bay victory. In addition to playing exhausted hockey, the Lightning had to once again try to win without captain Steven Stamkos.
Tampa Bay fell on 1-0 hole after Dallas' Corey Perry found the back of the net with a little over two minutes left in the first period.
Ondrej Palat helped put the Lightning on board early in the second period after scoring off assists from Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point.
The Lightning's Mikhail Sergachev scored on an assist from Brayden Point to give Tampa Bay a lead four minutes into the third period.
The Stars' Joe Pavelski knocked in a goal to tie the game with a little less than seven minutes left in regulation.
Dallas' Corey Perry scored his second goal of the game in double overtime to keep the Stars' season alive.
With Saturday's loss Tampa Bay's series lead has been cut to 3-2.
Other than Game 3 on Wednesday, Stamkos has missed every game in the NHL bubble due to an injury. While he had his version of the 1988 Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit home run moment with a goal in the first period, Stamkos spent less than four minutes on ice during Tampa Bay's 5-2 win in Game 3.
- Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1 Final.
- Game 2: Lightning 3, Stars 2 Final.
- Game 3: Lightning 5, Stars 2 Final.
- Game 4: Lightning 5, Stars 4 Final/OT.
- Game 5: Stars 3, Lightning 2 Final/2OT.
- Game 6: Monday, September 28, 8 p.m. ET
- *Game 7: Wednesday, Septmeber 30, 8 p.m. ET
* = If necessary
HOW THEY GOT HERE
The Lightning secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference bracket after finishing second to the Philadelphia Flyers in round-robin play. Tampa Bay beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team the Lightning got swept by in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, in five hard-fought games.
After exorcising their playoff demons against the Blue Jackets, the Lightning rode Ondrej Palat's hot hand and a game-winning goal in double overtime from Victor Hedman to take down the Boston Bruins in five games.
Tampa Bay survived a physical and bruising series against the New York Islanders after taking the series in six games to punch the team's ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Dallas Stars qualified for round-robin in the Edmonton bubble after finishing the regular season with the fourth-best record in the conference.
The Stars secured the No. 3 seed and beat the Calgary Flames in six games.
In the following round, Dallas jumped to a commanding 3-1 series lead before the Colorado Avalance came back and forced a Game 7. The Stars then dodged a major series collapse after beating the Avs 5-4 in overtime in the winner-take-all game.
Dallas then took the Western Conference title after beating the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.