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Sports Good, bad, strange of NHL Stanley Cup Final matchup between Lightning and Stars

17:06  19 september  2020
17:06  19 september  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Time, TV, streaming info and players to watch as Stars, Lightning open Stanley Cup Final

  Time, TV, streaming info and players to watch as Stars, Lightning open Stanley Cup Final The Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning face off in the Stanley Cup Final, starting Saturday in the Edmonton, Alberta bubble.The former San Jose Sharks captain chose Dallas.

Welcome to Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lighting and Dallas Stars . The Stars , who won 4-1 in Game 1, are looking for their fifth Best one of all, in my opinion, and so appropriate for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this month, is "September" by Earth Wind and Fire.

The 2020 Stanley Cup Finals is the championship series of the National Hockey League 's ( NHL ) 2019–20 season and the culmination of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are exactly where everyone expected them to be, just a year late.

Dallas Stars stay alive in Stanley Cup final, beat Tampa Bay 3-2 in double OT

  Dallas Stars stay alive in Stanley Cup final, beat Tampa Bay 3-2 in double OT EDMONTON — The Dallas Stars are still alive in the Stanley Cup final, lead by two veterans who are simply refusing to let them lose. Corey Perry, age 35, scored two goals, including the winner in double overtime, to give the Stars a 3-2 win Saturday over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup final, forcing Game 6 Monday night. Perry jammed the puck past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy at the 9:23 mark of the second extra period — butCorey Perry, age 35, scored two goals, including the winner in double overtime, to give the Stars a 3-2 win Saturday over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup final, forcing Game 6 Monday night.

"He's still rehabbing," Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said during Stanley Cup Final media Stamkos joined the Lightning on the ice for the celebration after they clinched their spot in the Stanley "Once you get into the playoffs, the difference in talent between the teams is minimal and

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]. Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 22-2 in the third period of Game 1 but couldn't score against Anton Khudobin The Stars do a good job keeping the front of the net clean and the shots to the outside. Khudobin often sees the puck, and the Stars don't give up

Last year's team finished with a record-tying 62 victories then was unceremoniously swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This year, the Lightning avenged the Blue Jackets loss, beating Columbus in the first round and then defeating the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders for their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2015.

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"I'm excited for my players, this journey, especially after what happened the last year, we kind of took it on the chin and rightfully so," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We deserved to take it on the chin, but to counter-punch like we have this year, good on those guys."

a person skiing on the snow: Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen often jumps up into the play. © Perry Nelson, USA TODAY Sports Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen often jumps up into the play.

The Dallas Stars went through an in-season coaching change when Jim Montgomery was fired and replaced by assistant Rick Bowness.

Dallas Stars stay alive in Stanley Cup final, beat Tampa Bay 3-2 in double OT

  Dallas Stars stay alive in Stanley Cup final, beat Tampa Bay 3-2 in double OT EDMONTON — The Dallas Stars are still alive in the Stanley Cup final, lead by two veterans who are simply refusing to let them lose. Corey Perry, age 35, scored two goals, including the winner in double overtime, to give the Stars a 3-2 win Saturday over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup final, forcing Game 6 Monday night. Perry jammed the puck past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy at the 9:23 mark of the second extra period — butCorey Perry, age 35, scored two goals, including the winner in double overtime, to give the Stars a 3-2 win Saturday over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup final, forcing Game 6 Monday night.

[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]. He includes Dallas CEO Jim Lites and general manager Jim Nill, each of whom he worked with in the Bowman is eager to watch what could amount to a chess match , in part a duel between goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning and Anton

Who played well in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final ? Sometimes it's easy to tell, sometimes it isn't. Alexander Radulov ( up ) -- The Stars forward had an assist on each Dallas goal, three shots on The Lightning wasted no time in attacking the Stars in the first period, outshooting them 14-6 and taking

They lost No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop to injury, but veteran Anton Khudobin has been impressive, particularly against the Golden Knights. They have been outscored and outshot in the postseason, but have found ways to rally to reach their first Final since 2000.

The Stars (1999) and Lightning (2004) will be looking to win their second NHL championship.

A look at the good, the bad and the strange about this year's Stanley Cup Final.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Good: The Lightning haven't had a second of play from Steven Stamkos and they're in the Final. Credit Julien Brisebois, a general manager of the year finalist, for that. He added toughness in Pat Maroon and Barclay Goodrow and depth in Blake Coleman, Kevin Shattenkirk and Zach Bogosian. Stamkos had skated occasionally but has been ruled out for Game 1, at least.

a group of people skiing on the snow: The health of Brayden Point is a key factor for the Tampa Bay Lightning. © Perry Nelson, USA TODAY Sports The health of Brayden Point is a key factor for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP: Scores, schedules in the bubble

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

  Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup EDMONTON — The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup champions, hoisting the NHL's championship trophy Monday in a near-empty Rogers Place to cap off a surreal, bifurcated, bubbled hockey season for the ages. Brayden Point and Blake Coleman scored the goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots for his first career playoff shutout in a 2-0 win, giving Tampa Bay a 4-2 triumph in the best-of-seven series. The Lightning players exploded off the bench as the seconds ticked to zero, tossing sticks and gloves and swarming Vasilevskiy, their whoops and hollers echoing off the empty seats and capacious tarps.

Since the Stanley Cup Final went to a best -of-7 format in 1939, the team that wins Game 1 is 61-19 winning the series (76.3 percent). Hanley gave the Stars a 1-0 lead at 5:40 of the first period, scoring with a high blocker-side shot from between the circles off a pass from behind the net by Roope Hintz.

Best of NHL Network. Fantasy Hockey . The 2020 Stanley Cup Final will be like no other, with all games in Edmonton and no fans in the Rogers Place. The official program for the series between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning will also enter new territory, as it will be available digitally for

PREDICTIONS: Here's how Lightning-Stars series will play out

Bad: Brayden Point was injured in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final and missed Game 3, a loss. He returned the next game but was banged around and missed Game 5, another loss. He did play Game 6. He could win the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Lightning win, but if he's not 100% against a hard-hitting Stars team, that could spell trouble for Tampa Bay.

Strange: Cooper says the hockey gods were working when the first round featured another Tampa Bay-Columbus matchup. All it took was a pandemic, the NHL's decision to invite 24 teams to the postseason, a Blue Jackets Game 5 win in the qualifying round and a Lightning loss in the round robin. Things weren't looking good when defenseman Victor Hedman was hurt in that game, but he was able to play more than 57 minutes in the Lightning's five-overtime win in Game 1 against Columbus. The confidence Tampa Bay gained by getting past the Blue Jackets carried through the next two rounds.

Dallas Stars

Good: Miro Heiskanen was the Stars' All-Star Game representative in 2019. It has become clear why. He's the top-scoring defenseman in the playoffs with 22 points at age 21. He is highly mobile and often jumps into the rush. “You just let Miro be Miro, and he’s going to take over games,” John Klingberg said. The Stars' defense, which includes Klingberg and Esa Lindell, matches up well against the Lightning's.

Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars had great playoff runs; what awaits this offseason?

  Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars had great playoff runs; what awaits this offseason? Most of the top players on the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars are signed long-term, but there are key decisions to make.Success of NHL bubble in Edmonton result of close collaboration: Hinshaw

Best of Mic'd Up . Hockey Is For Everyone. Most Popular. Cup Final , Gm2: Stars @ Lightning . NHL , the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup , the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, the All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL

The Stanley Cup will be presented before month's end to the Dallas Stars or Tampa Bay Lightning at Rogers Place in Edmonton, and never has it It's somehow fitting hockey 's most historic trophy, which appeared in the arena during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday, and the almost surreal

Bad: Tyler Seguin, the Stars' highest-paid player, has only two goals and eight points in 20 games. His team-high 50 points was his lowest total since he arrived in a 2013 trade. Highly-paid Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski have overcome subpar regular seasons and the Stars are getting big-game performances from others. Still, if the Stars are to get past the deep Lightning, they'll need more offense from Seguin. A good sign: He had a strong overall game in the Game 5 clincher against the Vegas Golden Knights, even if he didn't have a point. He has 54 shots on goal in the playoffs.

Strange: The Stars are the definition of flip the switch. They had lost six in a row before the league went on hiatus in March and only got into the round robin because they played two fewer games than the Oilers and had a better winning percentage. They were outscored 10-5 in the round robin, but their 26th-ranked regular-season offense has come to life in the playoffs. Their resilience is evident in games. They trailed the Flames 3-0 in the clinching Game 6, rallying to win 7-3. They yielded a Colorado go-ahead goal in the third period of Game 7 but tied it 10 seconds later. And they overcame a late two-goal deficit to win Game 5 in overtime against the Golden Knights.

Overall series

Good: This is the first series between two teams from the Sun Belt, which is always a good thing for a league looking to grow its national footprint. Dallas is the fifth-ranked television market and Tampa-St. Petersburg is the 12th, so there should be good local numbers.

Profile: Braden Schneider could be on Habs' radar in entry draft

  Profile: Braden Schneider could be on Habs' radar in entry draft The Montreal Canadiens have the 16th overall pick in the first round of the NHL entry draft, which will be held Oct. 6-7. This is the third of five profiles of players who could be on the Canadiens’ radar. BRADEN SCHNEIDER Team: Brandon Wheat Kings Age: 19 Position: Defenceman Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 209 pounds Central Scouting Bureau: Ninth among North American skaters. During the past 12 months, the Canadiens have managed to shore up the left side of the defence through free agency (Ben Chiarot), trades (Joel Edmundson and Brett Kulak) and the draft (Alexander Romanov).

Bad: The NHL bubbles have been great for playing a postseason amid a pandemic as there have been no positive COVID-19 tests so far. But it will be strange to see a Stanley Cup awarded without fans in the stands in Edmonton, Alberta. And ESPN is reporting that not many families have been able to join the players. The usually exuberant Stanley Cup celebration could seem muted.

Strange: There's a bunch of it in this series

—This is the first Final in which two Russian goalies are opposing each other. Khudobin or Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy will be the second Russian starting goalie to win a Cup. The first was Nikolai Khabibulin, with the Lightning in 2004.

—It's the second year in a row that a midseason replacement coach has reached the Final. Bowness joins Craig Berube, who won last season with the St. Louis Blues.

—Bowness was Cooper's assistant for five seasons, including during Tampa Bay's run to the 2015 final.

—Maroon has a chance to win back-to-back Cups with different teams. The last person to do that: Cory Stillman (Tampa Bay, 2004, and Carolina, 2006, after the lockout-canceled season). The last to do it in back-to-back years: Claude Lemieux (New Jersey, 1995, and Colorado, 1996).

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Good, bad, strange of NHL Stanley Cup Final matchup between Lightning and Stars

Canadiens sign goaltender Michael McNiven to one-year, two-way contract .
MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens have signed goaltender Michael McNiven to a one-year, two-way contract. The contract is worth US$700,000 in the NHL and $75,000 in the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old McNiven played three games with the AHL's Laval Rocket in 2019-20, posting a 3-0-0 record, a 2.33 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. The Winnipeg native also played 22 games in the ECHL with the Adirondack Thunder, Jacksonville Icemen and Norfolk Admirals, where he earned a 9-11-2 record. McNiven, who grew up in Georgetown, Ont., has played 58 career games with the Rocket, posting a 20-31-4 record along with a 2.94 GAA and a .895 save percentage.

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