Edmonton, Alberta – Tampa Bay Lightning can take less than 24 hours to load the Stanley Cup.
Lightning marched to a 5-4 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday night at Rogers Place, after their captain Steven Stamkos, due to injury, trailed by two goals in the first period.
Lightning defender Kevin Shattenkirk beat the game winner in the Power Play. Tampa Bay can now win three straight games and win the championship on Saturday night. This weekend’s back-to-back games are the first in the Stanley Cup finals since 2009 and the second since the expansion era began in 1967.
In the extra frame, the teams traded power-play opportunities. The Stars failed to invest when Michael Cherkachev left for holding Tyler Seguin, but the lightning was in favor when Jamie Ben whistled to make a call against Tyler Johnson.
It took a minute and 24 seconds to combine the man’s advantage, with Shattenkirk smashing a shot from just above the right face-to-point point, knocking Anton Gudobin into the distance.
After all, Lightning had the advantage of man in a 3-to-4 game, while the stars went from 0-to-3.
“I think there are a lot of guys with some great plays tonight,” Shattenkirk said. “You see the guy who scored the game winning goal many times, but it took us a long time to get there. In the power play we kept it simple, good things happened.
“This is a great moment.”
After completing the second period, the teams traded goals again in third place. Gillorn gave the Lightning a 4-3 lead, then Joe Powellsky drew the stars with an 8:25 lead, with his shot past Andrei Vasilevsky from Shattenkirk’s foot.
The last 28.3 seconds of control were played at 4-in-4, after Corey Perry blew the whistle for intercepting at Brighton Point, and he also received a minor setback. Shattenkirk then finished it in overtime.
“For that I thought I deserved some kind of good karma,” Shattenkirk said. “I felt bad for doing it to the resident, when he left you after he made the first saving. Credit to them – that’s what they tried to put us on our heels, throwing the net into the net.”
Point scored twice for Tampa Bay, with Yanni Gorde and Alex Killorn scoring once each. Palleski had two goals for Dallas. John Klingberg and Perry also scored.
Vasilevsky, who played every minute of the post-lightning season, conceded three goals in the first seven shots he faced, but he rallied for a total of 26 saves. Gudobin stopped 30 for 35 for Dallas.
Dallas coach Rick Bounes started the first period with ever-changing tax combinations as he wanted to shake off more guilt from his perspective.
Initially, both teams settled into a tight test style, and opened the game on the first shot of the Klingberg Stars, a personal effort that came in at seven minutes and 17 seconds in the first period.
Despite an outscoring 8-3 in the opening act, the Stars extended their lead 2-0 late, giving Powellsky a pass from Ben, who knocked down Vasilevsky for the 11th goal of the playoffs.
This connected him to a goal-scoring lead last season – 59 seconds.
Co-chairman Point responded by finishing 12th with 33 seconds left in the first period, after Shattenkirk and Ontrage Ballad quickly moved above the ice.
“Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t achieved that goal?” Killorn said. “He scored those goals in all the playoffs. We relied on the big men who scored those goals, and they are coming.”
In the second start, in the power play, Point added his 13th place and even drew the Lightning 2-2.
The stars took the lead in seconds as Chekhov surpassed Sergachev, cut into the net and fed back into the fold, where it fitted Vasilevsky’s skate and Perry’s stick.
The Stars then controlled the long game, but the teams went into the second half with a score of 3-3. While serving for a hooking miner in the late Andrew Cogliano period, Corde scored on a wrist shot from the high slot.
For the first time in Friday’s game playoffs Lightning went a while back, but came back to win. They would have been 0-4 in that situation before.
Tampa Bay now have 7-1 extra time in the latter season, including a shooting victory over Washington Capitals during the round robin and a five-over victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets to start the first round.
From removing a game from his team and ending their time in the bubble, Powellsky said the mood of the stars had not changed.
“We thought it would be a long series,” he said. “We need to go right now and extend it.”
“We’ll be back,” Bounes said. “I have full confidence in our hockey club. I’m proud of the way we played tonight. We will play tomorrow as we did tonight.”
Lightning coach John Cooper said his players were quiet in the dressing room after the game.
“They were all pumped when Shutty walked into the room,” he said. “When I go in, it’s usually fun, nothing. Guys, they’re here to do something.”
“Like we said, we haven’t won anything yet. They really believe they know what it takes to win a series. We have to win one more, we have not taken anything.”
Leading the injury, Stamkos did not wear the dress on Friday after a brief but impactful appearance in Game 3. Cooper said the Stamkos could wear out at some point by the end of the series on Friday morning.
Dallas forward Blake Comao missed his second game in a row due to injury, and Radek Faxa missed his sixth game. Another Dallas forward, Roop Hinds, did not return to the game after banging hard on the boards in the second period.