EDMONTON, Alberta (WFTS) – The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to take a commanding series lead against the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The Lightning, however, have a tough road ahead as Friday’s game marks the first of a back-to-back, with the second game taking place in 24 hours. Tampa Bay must also get through Game 4 without captain Steven Stamkos, who was scratched due to an injury.
The Lightning fell on a 1-0 hole after the Stars’ John Klingberg scored on Dallas’ first shot on goal of the game. Dallas’ Joe Pavelski found the back of the net with less than 2 minutes left in the first period to double the Stars’ lead.
Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point scored off assists from Ondrej Palat and Kevin Shattenkirk to put the Lightning on board just seconds before the end of the opening period.
The Lightning trail the game 2-1 but leads the series 2-1.
While Stamkos missed Game 4, Lightning coach Jon Cooper did not rule out a possible return for the 6-time NHL All-Star later in the series.
- Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1 Final.
- Game 2: Lightning 3, Stars 2 Final.
- Game 3: Lightning 5, Stars 2 Final.
- Game 4: In progress
- Game 5: Saturday, September 26, 8 p.m. ET
- *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.