Cup Final, Gm2: Brayden Point takes a pass from Nikita Kucherov and one-times it home to open the scoring with a power-play goal
Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lighting and Dallas Stars is in the books and this series is tied 1-1 at Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory.
That was as pretty efficient job by the Lightning in the third period. Dallas had a couple of looks after making it a 3-2 game, but over the last three or four minutes of the third period, crunch time, Tampa Bay was calm with the puck, made a lot of good decisions and didn’t allow the Stars much pressure.
Pavelski won the face-off in the Lightning zone with 3.8 seconds left but Dallas defensman John Klingberg fanned on what looked like a great opportunity for one last shot.
The players and officials have been in the bubble long enough to be on a first-name and nickname basis.
« Hey Kelly (Sutherland, one of the game’s referees), that was tripping, » from the Tampa Bay bench.
We also heard, « Move it Johnny (Tyler Johnson) or I’m putting [the face-off] outside [the blue line]. » — referee Steve Kozari ordering Johnson and the players pinning the puck along the boards to move it along.
With less than five minutes to go, the Stars’ pressure is likely to rise but the Lightning have done a pretty tidy job with their puck management in this period.
Mikhail Sergachev appeared to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead with 10:46 left in the period, but the rush was offside, Blake Coleman just ahead of the play.
But after Dallas made it 3-2, the Lightning have pushed back strongly. This is a big moment for them, even though it’s early in the series. They know they have to put this game away because falling behind 2-0 in the Final is a statistical nightmare. Teams that go ahead 2-0 in the Final have won 90.2 percent of the time (46-5) since the Final went to a best-of-7 in 1939.
The Stars announced during the intermission that Blake Comeau will not return to the game. That was one hard shoulder-to-should check he absorbed from Ryan McDonagh.
But Dallas isn’t going away. They made it a 3-2 game at 5:27 of the third when Mattias Janmark tipped in John Klingberg’s pass to the crease. A game that Tampa Bay seemed to have in control is now a one-goal game with plenty of time left.
This game and series has taken a nasty turn. After Pat Maroon was going to be called for goalie interference and the whistle blew, the players got after each other. The result of it was another Dallas power play. Tampa Bay’s Cedric Paquette certainly did not appreciate being held in a headlock by Dallas’s Corey Perry, but the rest of those roughing penalties evened out.
Some cross words were also exchanged at the horn ending the period, but the officials intervened to keep it from boiling over, for now.
The Stars have gone ahead in shots on goal. They outshot Tampa Bay 18-5 in that period and lead on the game, 24-19. Power plays have had something to do with it, but I do think Dallas was more on its toes in the second period.
Dallas’s Blake Comeau was still in the dressing room at the end of the period. He was clobbered by Tampa Bay defenseman Ryan McDonagh in the neutral zone and went off quite wobbly.
Well, that was interesting in the timeout. You usually see teams regroup at their bench, maybe go over something with one of the coaches on an iPad. But during this latest timeout, Stars John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Joe Pavelski, Joel Kiviranta and Corey Perry had their own meeting on the far side of the ice in the neutral zone.
Seconds later, the Stars drew a penalty and then cashed in on that power play to make it 3-1. Pavelski tipped home Klingberg’s wrister from the point and … maybe we’re going to have a tight game?
The game is into a stretch of back and forth, but no momentum swings after Tampa Bay killed off the two penalties.
Lightning forward Blake Coleman got crunched pretty good by Jamie Olesiak earlier in the period and has left the game, for now. Yanni Gourde took a cross-checking penalty retaliating for the hit, but the initial contact between Coleman and Oleksiak was simply a case of a large guy hitting a smaller guy.
The shots in the game are tightening up, now 16-14, but there’s been no solving Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy yet. Andrew Cogliano just broke through for a chance, but nothing doing. Vasilevskiy made that look easy.
Lightning forward Blake Coleman got crunched pretty good by Jamie Olesiak earlier in the period and went to the room, but came back a few minutes later.
Dallas couldn’t get much of a foothold on the rest of its power play, and then another one when Kucherov was sent off for tripping, so the Stars will have to start fresh to dig into this game. I can hear a little more sound from the Dallas bench but that will be their challenge, to keep the energy up.
During the late TV time out in the first period, the game-production crew here showed some classic Stanley Cup celebration/presentation photos on the projection screens inside Rogers Place.
I took it as a game of press box trivia and on the tough call, I guessed correctly, so got all five. It was Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux, Rod Brind’Amour, Denis Potvin and Jimmy Skinner (Red Wings, 1955). I know my colleague Dave Stubbs would be proud of me for getting that last one.
The penalty box has been a busy place tonight and now the Stars are going back to the power play, their third of the night.
Fifty-four seconds after Palat’s goal, Kevin Shattenkirk sends a screen shot through and it finds the net for a 3-0 lead. A lot of air has gone out of the Dallas bench after that goal. I can see coach Rick Bowness walking up and down behind his players, trying to urge them to keep going.
I suspect they’ll need this intermission in a major way to regroup. The Stars were being outshot 14-3 before their own late power play began (they had three shots on that so far) and they’ll have 49 seconds of that carry over into the second period.
And of course, they’re playing « Thunderstruck » at the end of the period, which about describes that first period.
Ondrej Palat just scored the Lightning’s second power-play goal in three minutes to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.
Palat’s goal followed the first goal from Brayden Point, whose shot from the slot hit Esa Lindell’s stick and got by Anton Khudobin, who had no chance.
As for the Palat goal, he made a good puck retrieval after a shot to keep the puck in but then Kucherov gave him a sweet cross-ice pass after faking his own shot at the right circle. Wide-open net and absolutely nothing Khudobin is going to do about that.
I have a feeling we’re going to be talking about discipline and power plays after this one’s over, but still two-plus periods ahead.
The Stars had a good scoring look with Hintz, seconds after they killed off the Janmark penalty, but his shot went wide.
Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov went down the tunnel toward the dressing room not long after that, but returned to the bench after a minute. Rough first period for Kucherov, getting run over by Benn, high-sticked by Janmark and then to the room, but he just finished a regular shift with Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat and looks fine.
The Stars kill off their first penalty of the game and it really was an ill-advised play. Mattias Janmark was called for high-sticking Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov in the neutral zone. The Tampa Bay bench did not like it very much, vocal with their objections. About 10 seconds prior to that, the Lightning were up in arms over Dallas’s Jamie Benn running over Kucherov in the Tampa Bay zone.
Penalties were one of the key swing factors in the third period of Game 1. Will the Stars learn that lesson?
Game 2 is underway and now it’s time to find out if the Lightning have another bounce-back game in them. As mentioned before, they’re 5-0 in the playoffs after a loss.
Referee Kelly Sutherland just skated over and gave Lightning forward Pat Maroon a scolding for slashing Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen twice, long after a whistle, about 70 seconds into the game.
The usual fun at the end of warmups with Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin was not much of an event tonight. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev tried to outlast Seguin after warmups in Game 1 and be the last player off the ice, but Seguin slipped back on the ice for a quick twirl after Sergachev left on Saturday.
Tonight, Sergachev and Seguin were the last two players on the ice, and Sergachev looked over and saw his rival and likely just decided it wasn’t worth the time, so he skated straight off without waiting.
During warmups, the « Bubble Beats Playlist » music list was posted on the in-arena video projection screens and there are some brilliant choices.
Best one of all, in my opinion, and so appropriate for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this month, is « September » by Earth Wind and Fire. I saw them in concert a couple of summers ago and loved it. For me, that’s music for life.
And it’s fitting they play that song today since it’s the 21st night of September, as the song says.
Warmups have begun and Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is not on the ice with his teammates at Rogers Place. Stamkos is already listed as a scratch for Game 2 on the NHL roster report, which is filed by each team before every game. It looks like defenseman Jan Rutta wil play for Tampa Bay, It would be his first game since Aug. 5 against the Bruins in the round-robin portion of the Qualifiers. Zach Bogosian is not on the ice and is now listed as a scratch.
Of note for Dallas, Roope Hintz is out there and is listed in the lineup, which coach Rick Bowness suggested this morning would be the case. There are no other lineup surprises in the warmups or on the roster report, so it’s the routine pregame for each team tonight. The assistant coaches from each team are on their own benches, eyeing their opponents and the music is up inside the arena.
We are counting down to warmups for Game 2 and all eyes will be on the Tampa Bay side to see if captain Steven Stamkos will be on the ice.
Stamkos, who has yet to play this postseason, was in the morning skate here Monday with the scratches for Game 2.
Stamkos has not been ruled out of the series, and though it’s not expected he’ll play tonight, he’s getting closer to being in the lineup. There was already intrigue for Game 2, and now that extends to the warmups.
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