The credo of next-man-up has the Dallas Stars one game up within the 2020 Stanley Cup final.
Joel Hanley and Joel Kiviranta scored and goalie Anton Khudobin made 35 saves because the Stars beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 Saturday within the opening game of the NHL Stanley Cup final, at Rogers Place.
Hanley, Kiviranta, and Khudobin have all stepped up due to accidents to different gamers as half of the next-man-up whatever-it-takes mantra of playoff hockey, placing the Stars three video games away from their first Stanley Cup in 20 years.
Hanley, an undrafted free-agent signee from Keswick, Ont., scored his first ever NHL purpose whereas taking part in in his seventh consecutive playoff game, changing an injured Taylor Fedun within the lineup after Fedun changed an injured Stephen Johns.
“It’s one thing you dream about while you’re younger,” mentioned Hanley.
“Just cool to have the ability to contribute with a purpose like that (and) fairly cool to be within the finals, too.”
Hanley, 29, scored the collection opener lower than six minutes into the primary interval when Kiviranta smacked Lightning ahead Brayden Point into the boards deep in Tampa’s finish.
WATCH | Oleksiak buries his personal rebound:
Tampa defenceman Zach Bogosian flew over to hit Kiviranta in retaliation, permitting Star ahead Roope Hintz to gobble up the unfastened puck, swoop round untouched behind the web and feed Hanley in entrance for a shot blocker-side excessive previous Vasilevskiy.
“I noticed Roope go behind the web after which I noticed an opening within the center. So when Roope handed it, I do not know if I lifted my head up or not, I do not know what it seems like on digital camera, however I simply tried to decide a nook and shoot as arduous as I may and it was fortunate sufficient to go in,” mentioned Hanley.
Tampa Bay then acquired a break on a bounce to tie the game earlier than the interval was out. Blake Coleman blasted a low slapshot from the purpose that Khudobin deflected together with his pad proper to Yanni Gourde’s skate, then to Hintz’s skate and into the again of the web.
Gourde acquired credit score for the purpose, his sixth of the post-season.
Dallas grabbed the lead again with lower than eight minutes to go within the second interval. Oleksiak took an Alexander Radulov move, walked in untouched within the slot and fired a wrist shot. Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped it, however Oleksiak acquired his personal rebound and zipped it beneath the crossbar and in.
Then Kiviranta, within the dying seconds of the second body, acquired an analogous bounce. Racing in at excessive pace his first shot was blocked by Mikhail Sergachev, however the puck caromed proper again to Kiviranta, who shot once more for his fifth purpose of the post-season.
Kiviranta joined the lineup for an injured Andrew Cogliano in Game 7 of spherical 2, scoring a hat trick, together with the additional time winner, to knock out the Colorado Avalanche out of the playoffs.
He then scored a late purpose within the final game towards Vegas to tie the rating, permitting Dallas to go on and win in additional time and bounce the Golden Knights out of the bubble.
The 24-year-old Finn was signed as an undrafted free agent by Dallas within the spring of 2019 and was taking part in Saturday in simply his 20th NHL game.
WATCH | Rob Pizzo units up the Stanley Cup storylines:
Tampa Bay put the Stars on their heels within the third interval, dominating play within the Dallas finish of the rink, however Khudobin turned apart 22 pictures within the final 20 minutes to protect the win.
Jason Dickinson added an empty-netter with simply over a minute to go for the final purpose of the game.
Fairytale run for Khudobin continues
It was Khudobin’s 13th win of the post-season, writing one other chapter within the storybook by this journeyman backup goalie from Kazakhstan who acquired his likelihood to begin on this post-season after Dallas starter Ben Bishop was injured.
“He’s been a rock for us all playoffs. It was no completely different tonight,” mentioned Dallas ahead Blake Comeau of Khudobin.
“Every time we have want a giant save at well timed factors within the game, he is been there for us.”
Dallas had not performed since ending off the Vegas Golden Knights Monday evening, whereas Tampa Bay wrapped up its collection with the New York Islanders Thursday. The final two video games of that collection went into additional time.
Lightning strikes out Three instances
The Lightning are actually 0-Three in Stanley Cup final opening video games.
Lightning ahead Tyler Johnson mentioned they want to alter their game.
“The Islanders they type of sat again. Dallas was in our face on the blue-lines,” mentioned Johnson.
“I believe within the first two durations we we’re type of forcing a bit bit an excessive amount of, attempting to make these entry passes the place I believe our recipe is getting (the puck) deep and dealing.
“We simply gotta maintain doing that, grinding and taking part in our game.”
Game 2 goes Monday evening.
This is the final spherical of the so-called bubble playoffs. All post-season video games have been performed in entrance of no followers in Edmonton and Toronto, with gamers isolating between video games to forestall contracting the Corona Virus.
For the primary interval Saturday the gamers squared off actually within the shadow of the Stanley Cup. As there are not any followers, the silver mug was positioned on a draped stand on a platform erected above the gamers’ benches. Stanley had one of the best seat in the home.
Both franchises are looking for their second Cup. Dallas gained in 1999 and Tampa Bay in 2004.
The Bolts are the primary of the 10 NHL franchises that started play within the 1990s or later to attain the final thrice. The Lightning misplaced to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015.
This was not the primary time the cup final has been contested at a impartial web site.
The league reviews it has occurred 9 instances in its historical past, the final time prior to Saturday being video games 2 and three between the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers. The video games have been performed in Toronto as a result of the circus was booked in for these dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden.