Two New/Old Faces Keeping Dallas’ Dream Alive
After the Stars’ double overtime loss to the eventual cup winners last year, the team went into the off season knowing they needed a couple more pieces for a deep playoff run. Jim Nill went out and signed Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, as well as a few other players. The two veterans have combined for six goals in the Stars’ last two games.
These two blue hairs happened to be the only Dallas players to score this game. Corey Perry opened it up in the first period. He led both teams in SOG with nine by the end of the game.
Corey Perry took advantage of a seemingly injured Sergachev, and crashed the net hard after noticing the star defenseman was hunched over. Alexander Radulov hit him with a reverse check, while maintaining possession of the puck. Andre Vasilevsky gave up an uncommon rebound, that the veteran was there to slap in, as Sergachev coasted through his own defensive end bent over.
Khudobin stopped everything Tampa had to offer him in the first period. However, a few minutes into the second period Ondrej Palat tied it up on a highlight reel goal. Definitely a goal that was not Dobby’s fault, as Palat cruised down the boards, and cut back across the middle of the crease to tap the puck in.
Third period began with Mikhail Sergachev giving Tampa their first lead of the game. He had redeemed himself from the first period goal, and the Lightning looked confident and determined to finish the series. But then, with a little under seven minutes remaining, Joe Pavelski tied the game, to send it into overtime.
Anton Khudobin stood on his head and made save after save throughout the first overtime. There were many a chance for both sides, but it wouldn’t be until the second overtime that Corey Perry got his second of the game, forcing the game six.
A team hasn’t come back to win the Stanley Cup after going down 3-1 since 1942. The Stars have fought back to make it 3-2, but will be hard pressed to get two more games in a row. That being said, this has been an extremely unusual scenario that many players have compared to international tournaments and the Olympics.
The lack of travel and fans, combined with little to no “advantage” besides line changes as the home team, will be a variable that has not been factored before. If there was a time it might happen, it feels as though it could be now.
Both teams played games 3 through 5 in just four days. This is yet another component, for an extremely unusual series, in an unprecedented time.
Do the Stars have what it will take to win the cup? We shall see. One has to give Tampa credit, it seems as if they have paid their dues, and it is their turn.
That being said, the Stars have consistently progressed year after year, and they’ve made it all the way to the final two teams. Dallas has a group of young guys that are a force to be reckoned with moving forward, and you have to sit back and enjoy the rest of this ride.
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