EDMONTON, Alberta (WFTS) – The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to finish the deal against the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
However, The Lightning’s path to capturing the franchise’s second Stanley Cup is not easy. Saturday’s game marks the second of a back-to-back, with the first game going into overtime, ending in a Tampa Bay victory. In addition to playing tired, the Lightning must once again try to win without captain Steven Stamkos.
Other than Game 3 on Wednesday, Stamkos has missed every game in the NHL bubble due to an injury. While he had his version of the 1988 Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run moment with a goal in the first period, Stamkos spent less than four minutes on ice during Tampa Bay’s 5-2 win in Game 3.
Both teams are scoreless as of the first period but the Lightning lead the series 3-1.
- Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1 Final.
- Game 2: Lightning 3, Stars 2 Final.
- Game 3: Lightning 5, Stars 2 Final.
- Game 4: Lightning 5, Stars 4 Final/OT.
- Game 5: In progress
- *Game 6: Monday, September 28, 8 p.m. ET
- *Game 7: Wednesday, Septmeber 30, 8 p.m. ET
* = If necessary
HOW THEY GOT HERE
The Lightning secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference bracket after finishing second to the Philadelphia Flyers in round-robin play. Tampa Bay beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team the Lightning got swept by in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, in five hard-fought games.
After exorcising their playoff demons against the Blue Jackets, the Lightning rode Ondrej Palat’s hot hand and a game-winning goal in double overtime from Victor Hedman to take down the Boston Bruins in five games.
Tampa Bay survived a physical and bruising series against the New York Islanders after taking the series in six games to punch the team’s ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Dallas Stars qualified for round-robin in the Edmonton bubble after finishing the regular season with the fourth-best record in the conference.
The Stars secured the No. 3 seed and beat the Calgary Flames in six games.
In the following round, Dallas jumped to a commanding 3-1 series lead before the Colorado Avalance came back and forced a Game 7. The Stars then dodged a major series collapse after beating the Avs 5-4 in overtime in the winner-take-all game.
Dallas then took the Western Conference title after beating the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.