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NHL Stanley Cup Final Game Night: 9-19-20 Stars v Lightning

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  • NHL Stanley Cup Final Game Night: 9-19-20 Stars v Lightning

    Lightning succumb to a hangover in Game One.


    Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 19 shots for the loss. One of those you'd like to see him get, although I don't think it's the howler it's been made out to be because it was a rebound off a shot block and he was partially screened by the shot blocker. He played excellent for a long stretch in the Second Period when the team was coming unglued at the seams and nearly kept them in competitive position. Can he be better? Yes. Was the the reason they lost tonight? No.

    First Period
    5:40 DAL Hanley (1), (Hintz)
    12:32 TB Gourde (6), (Coleman, Goodrow)

    Second Period
    12:30 DAL Oleksiak (5), (Radulov, Heiskanen)
    19:32 DAL Kiviranta (5), (Lindell, Klingberg)

    Third Period
    18:42 DAL Dickinson (1), (Comeau, Janmark )(EN)

    I said after Game Six of the ECF the Lightning would have to figure out how to manufacture a win or two early in this series because I expected a hangover from the Islanders series. The team looked dead on its feet in Game Six against New York and they carried that fatigue through much of the first 40 minutes of tonight's contest. They might've still had themselves in a position to steal this one but for a perplexing set of decisions by Brayden Point to eat the puck rather than move it in the corner and Zach Bogosian to stop playing and chase Point's checker leading to Dallas' first goal and there's Dallas' third goal which came off a bit of puck luck with a blocked shot ricocheting right back to the shooter late in the Second Period. As it was, the Lightning just didn't look themselves through two period's tonight, which was disappointing albeit not unexpected. Rick Bowness had his team ready to defend what the Lightning like to do in the neutral zone in the First Period, which greatly aided the team's tepid start, and then they got in penalty trouble in the Second Period which really doomed any chance to regain momentum in the middle third of the game.

    The silver lining is that the Lightning finally found their form in the Third Period, granted through a hellacious dose of score effects, and ended up outshooting Dallas 22-1 in the final frame as the Stars went into the equivalent of a NFL prevent defense. As bad as they played through 40 minutes the Lightning were surprisingly close in expected goals after two periods and by the end of the Third Period Money Puck's "deserve to win-o'meter" spun nearly 3:1 the Lightning's way. In other words, this began to look and feel a lot like the Game One loss in the Boston series where the Lightning found their form in a failed comeback and eventually went on to win four straight to send Boston to the golf course. So, I suspect we're going to see the real Lightning team the rest of this series and the Islanders series hangover will be gone the rest of the way. That's the good news. I think the Lightning will start showing themselves to be the superior 5v5 team from here on out. The bad news is that the Lightning power play and penalty kill continues to look wildly inconsistent and generally a liability against their opponents. They had multiple chances in the Third Period to claw to within a goal and really put the flop sweat on Bowness' brow, but lacked the right combination of puck movement to unlock Khudobin. That and fatigue remain my biggest concerns in this series, even in spite of the Game One loss.

    Box score and extended statistics from

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  • #2
    Lightning looked tired, and the goal scoring has dried up. Dallas’s defense played as advertised, smart and mobile D corp
    If no government system will guarantee a utopia, then our best choice is to look for the least exploitive one