Wed, 21 Oct 2020

Stars strike first in Finals with victory over Lightning

Field Level Media
20 Sep 2020, 12:40 GMT+10

Second-period goals by Jamie Oleksiak and Joel Kiviranta, combined with another great performance from goaltender Anton Khudobin sparked the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night in Edmonton and first blood in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Lightning will look to draw even in Game 2 Monday in Edmonton, and they'll need to solve Khudobin, who made 35 saves, 22 of them in the third period when Tampa held a 22-2 edge.

Khudobin's teammates made the most of his latest big performance, especially while breaking open the game in the second period.

With the score tied 1-1 past the midway point of the second period, Oleksiak put Dallas up for the second time. Oleksiak's first shot was stopped but he converted his own rebound for the game winner.

Then, within a minute of Brayden Point's deflection hitting the crossbar, the Stars went to the other end and Kiviranta tallied to make it a 3-1 lead with 27.4 seconds left in the middle frame. Kiviranta's long shot was blocked but he got the puck back and found the mark the second time.

Jason Dickinson's empty netter with 78 seconds remaining, his first goal of the playoffs, rounded out the scoring.

The clubs traded first-period goals to get the series off and running, albeit in a frame that totaled nine shots on goal.

Dallas defenseman Joel Hanley scored his first-ever NHL goal to open the scoring at 5:40. When Tampa's Zach Bogosian went to have words with Kiviranta for a hit on Point, it left Roope Hintz alone to get the puck in the corner and he sent a pass to a wide-open Hanley for the golden chance and his first goal in any league since April 10, 2019, while he was in the minors.

Yanni Gourde replied for the Lightning with a lucky goal. Khudobin stopped Blake Coleman's point shot, but the puck ricocheted off Gourde's foot and then Hintz's skate and bounded into the net at 12:32 of the opening frame. It's the sixth consecutive game the Lightning surrendered the first goal yet replied to tie the game. Tampa has won three of those games.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 16 saves for the Lightning, who will look to win a second series after losing the opener.

--Field Level Media

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