|Record||Goaltender||GAA / SV%|
|Dallas Stars||14-9-0||Anton Khudobin||1.35 / .951|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||15-5-1||Andrei Vasilevskiy||2.02 / .909|
TDLR: IT’S NOT OVER YET! The Dallas Stars hold on thanks to one goal from Pavelski, and two goals from Perry, including the double-overtime game winner.
In Game 5, the Tampa Bay Lighting had the chance to Finish the Fight win their second Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history. After defeating the Dallas Stars last night in overtime, thanks to a botched penalty called against Jamie Benn that put Tampa on the power-play, the Lightning sat just one win away from lifting Lord Stanley. Conversely, the Stars were looking to Stay in the Fight and force a Game 6, which would come Monday night.
The second game of a back-to-back is usually the more difficult one to play, and that statement couldn’t have been any truer for the Stars. Four key players for Dallas were ruled unfit-to-play ahead of Game 5; Radek Faksa, Blake Comeau, Roope Hintz, and Stephen Johns. During warmups, Jason Dickinson left the ice, possibly due to residual pain after blocking a shot in Game 4. The Lightning were without captain Steven Stamkos, who did not play Friday either. Despite taking just five shifts on Wednesday, Stamkos made them count (1G, 2:47 TOI).
To start Game 5, Tampa made no adjustments to their lineup, and Dickinson did take the ice. The first power play of the game went to the Lightning as Tyler Seguin went off for high-sticking. The Stars have been on the wrong side of many questionable penalties all series long, and Tampa has gone 6-for-12 with the man-advantage across the same span. On the other-hand, Dallas has taken a number of undisciplined stick penalties as well. The Stars successfully killed off the penalty, and nearly scored, not once, but twice, upon the expiration of the Bolts power play. With about eight minutes remaining in the first, Andrej Sekera was seen needing assistance down the tunnel to the Stars locker room after blocking a shot. Stoppages in play were far and few between during the first 20 minutes. Corey Perry, fresh off the bench, gave the Stars a 1-0 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the first.
Nikita Kucherov nearly tied it shortly thereafter, but Anton Khudobin made the difficult save from the right-sided shot. The Lightning outshot the Stars 10-8 in the first period, but Dallas led 1-0 heading into the second.
Andrej Sekera had not yet returned to the Stars bench to start the 2nd period. At the 4:37 mark, Ondrej Palat with his 11th goal of the post-season, tied the game 1-1 after drawing Khudobin out from his crease. Palat’s tying goal marked his third goal and 5th point in four games.
There weren’t many notable moments in the second period, as the clock ticked down to eight minutes remaining. But that is just how Dallas liked it, with no penalties to speak of, nor additional goals against. Carter Verhaeghe was called for slashing with 7:27 left, and so the Stars played with the man-advantage for the first time. Ryan McDonagh just about scored short-handed after a poor defensive zone turnover but did not succeed. The Stars did not convert on their power play opportunity. After 40 minutes of play, the score remained tied 1-1, and both Tampa and Dallas were 0-for-1 on the power play.
Andrej Sekera did return for the 3rd period after missing the entirety of the second, but it was to be determined how much he would play. The Dallas Stars dominated early on in the period, challenging Andrei Vasilevskiy with a handful of difficult saves. But less than four minutes into the final frame, Mikhail Sergachev broke the tie to make it 2-1 with his 3rd goal of the playoffs.
Miro Heiskanen narrowly missed scoring five-hole on Vasilevskiy to re-establish the tie game, but his Stars still trailed by one. With 8:54 remaining, Dallas received another power play as Erik Cernak went off for high-sticking, but again didn’t convert. For the second time, an unsuccessful Dallas power play ended up with a goal anyways, as Joe Pavelski scored to tie the game 2-2.
With 60 seconds remaining on the clock, overtime loomed for the second time in as many nights. The score was tied, 2-2 upon expiration of regulation time, and Dallas’ season was on the line with overtime being the decision-maker.
Overtime hasn’t been kind to the Stars as of late, dropping Game 4 last night with a goal from Kevin Shattenkirk to bring Tampa within one win of the championship. Jason Dickinson blocked another shot, this time off the opposite leg, but appeared no worse for wear. Nitikia Kucherov got a dangerous shot away, but was interrupted. Alexander Radulov had the chance to score the game-winning goal but was interfered upon and then the net behind Vasilevskiy was also dislodged. Jamie Benn also could have shot the puck but decided to pass one too many times instead.
One overtime period was not enough, so we would see a second 20-minute OT period. Dallas had just two shots in the first OT, so it was imperative for them to generate more opportunities. Denis Gurianov on a breakaway could have put it away, but couldn’t find the finish. Corey Perry, who had scored the first goal of the game ended up being the 2OT hero after a scramble in front of the net, nearly didn’t get through.
TXHT’s Three Takeaways of the Game
- IT’S NOT OVER YET!
- The 2019-20 Tampa Bay Lightning would have been the first team since the 1967 expansion to win the Stanley Cup after being swept in the first round of the playoffs the year prior.
- Corey Perry, that is all.
Below is the schedule for the Stanley Cup Final series between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Monday September 28, 2020 @ 8:00pm EST
Wednesday September 30, 2020 @ 8:00pm EST