By: Patrick Nahhas
Game one of the Stanley Cup Finals ended in a triumphant victory for the Dallas Stars. Dallas won 4-1 to take a 1-0 series lead. They were outshot 36-20, but that doesn’t tell the story of the game. The Stars dominated the proceedings early, with Tampa struggling to get solid opportunities. They countered the Stars’ first-period goal with one of their own, but it was the Stars who were in control. The Stars built their shot advantage before taking a 2-1 lead in the second. After falling behind for a second time, the Lightning began to ramp up the pressure. They heavily outshot the Stars the rest of the game. However, solid goaltending and an empty-net goal at the end of the third period gave the Stars the 4-1 victory they deserved.
The Lightning was able to dictate the game when on the attack in game one, and couldn’t afford to fall behind in a pivotal game two. That is exactly what they did. Tampa stormed back to tie the series at 1-1, winning 3-2. They outshot the Stars in the first period 14-6 and got all three of their goals in the opening frame. Two of the three goals came on the power play, and they finished with a .500 scoring rate on the PP. The Stars battled back to score one in the second and one early in the third, but falling behind 3-0 proved to be too insurmountable of a deficit to battle back from. In the end, the Lightning outshot the Stars 31-29
Game Three Preview
The Lightning took the momentum from the end of game one and carried that into game two, and that gave them the win. The Stars definitely balanced the tide though to finish game two. Look for the Stars in the next few games to stay more discipline as a way to limit the Lightning’s momentum. Tampa only has two even-strength goals this series compared to Dallas’ five. When Dallas is dictating the pace of play, they are able to outplay the Lightning. The Lightning on the other hand will keep trying to attack to force the Stars to play under pressure.
Game three will be tonight at 8:00 PM EST.