EDMONTON, Alberta (WFTS) – The Lightning struggled to score against Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin in Tampa Bay's 4-1 loss in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Dallas' netminder stopped 35 of 36 shots in Saturday's game.
The Lightning fell on a 1-0 hole after the Stars' Joel Hanley found the back of the net a little less than 6 minutes after the opening faceoff.
Tampa Bay caught a break a little less than seven minutes after Dallas' goal after Lightning's Blake Coleman's shot bounced off teammate Yanni Gourde's skate and then off Stars' Roope Hintz and into the net. Gourde was credited with the goal and assists were given to Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.
The Gnats strike back. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/GbvpcFICKK
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) September 20, 2020
The Stars' Jamie Oleksiak scored a goal 12:30 into the second period to give Dallas a 2-1 lead. With 28 seconds left in the second period, Dallas' Joel Kiviranta scored to give the Stars a 3-1 lead.
The Stars' Jason Dickinson scored on an empty net to extend Dallas' lead to 4-1.
The Lightning are entering the series bruised but battle-tested. Tampa Bay has had to play more than three full hours of overtime this postseason, a league record. On top of that, The Lightning have been without captain Steven Stamkos throughout the entirety of the NHL season restart, including Saturday’s game.
In addition to missing Stamkos, forward Brayden Point missed two games in the Eastern Conference Final and Ryan McDonagh missed some games during the series against the Boston Bruins.
- Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1 Final.
- Game 2: Monday, September 21 8 p.m. ET
- Game 3: Wednesday, September 23 8 p.m. ET
- Game 4: Friday, September 25 8 p.m. ET
- *Game 5: Saturday, September 26 8 p.m. ET
- *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.
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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.