The Dallas Stars stay alive for at least one more game as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final by a score of 3-2 in double overtime on a goal by Corey Perry. For the first time in the series, the Stars controlled play from start to finish. If Dallas played like this in the previous three games they might not have been facing elimination in Game 5. Instead, the Stars could be leading the series with a chance to wrap up the series in Game 6. Instead, the Stars will need to stay alive at least two more times if they want to win the Stanley Cup.
Corey Perry Keeps The Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Dream Alive
Stars Get It Done in the First
A feeling-out process dominated the first few minutes of Game 5, a stark contrast from the fast-paced cardiac style of play in Game 4. The Stars demonstrated some solid defensive structure, keeping the Bolts to the perimeter as they tried (but failed) to generate some early scoring chances. That defensive momentum was killed, however, when Tyler Seguin took a blatant high-sticking penalty against Brayden Point in the Dallas o-zone. The Lightning were absolutely dominant on the power play, totalling four shots, but Anton Khudobin stood strong. It was all Dallas after the penalty, though, swaying the momentum slowly back in their favour. Jamie Benn then nearly capitalized on a pseudo-breakaway but rang it off the pipe. To make matters worse, the Stars’ Andrej Sekera was seen being helped to the locker room. Jason Dickinson was already presumably playing hurt.
Despite Tampa getting the edge in shots for the majority of the period, most of the period was spent on the Dallas attack. The Stars were finally able to capitalize on their great pressure, with Corey Perry capitalizing with a beautiful move on a Seguin blocked shot. Nikita Kucherov had a chance to tie the game with about 40 seconds left in the period, but Khudobin was up to the task. The Stars, despite a treacherous start to the game, headed to the first intermission with the one-goal lead.
Lightning Scream Back With a Vengeance
A rough-and-tumble back-and-forth start meant both teams started the second on even field, but Tampa was determined to make things even. Ondrej Palat spun away from the play with an absolutely beautiful move, pulling Khudobin out of his net and finding twine to tie the game. The Lightning continued to pile it on, forcing Khudobin to make some clutch saves to keep the game tied. The Lightning had completely stolen all Dallas momentum at this point, putting things squarely back in their favour. They continued to maintain solid possession through the period but didn’t get another clutch chance for a while.
The Lightning’s momentum came to a screeching halt though, when Carter Verhaeghe took a slashing penalty for the Lightning’s first penalty of the game. Tampa decided to not let it get to them though, as a Palat bomb almost found the net shorthanded. Perry almost returned the favour for the Stars with the man-advantage winding down but was neutralized in front of the net by Tampa’s Jan Rutta. At this point, it was announced that Sekera would not return to the game, leaving the Stars with only five defensemen. Play continued to bobble back and forth as the teams entered the deciding third period tied at one apiece.
The final regulation period started rather uneventfully for both sides. The Lightning decided to up the ante pretty quickly though, as, at around four minutes in, Mikhail Sergachev unleashed a slapper that broke the tie. It put Tampa up 2-1 and the momentum squarely in their favour. For the second time in three years, it may be a former Montreal Canadien that gets the Cup-winning goal. Dallas, despite being down, still struggled to gain possession. The Lightning defence was as active as ever, maintaining solid control throughout.
An Erik Cernak high stick began to make things interesting with around nine minutes left (after a complete tripping non-call on Joel Kiviranta) to send Dallas to the power-play. Tampa continued to neutralize them, with Vasilevskiy having to make some big saves at the end of the power-play. However, Dallas wouldn’t go quietly as Joe Pavelski came up clutch yet again. The game was tied with only six minutes left, setting the teams up for yet another overtime. Tampa would continue to pressure back, capped by an Anthony Cirelli chance stopped by Khudobin with four minutes left.
It was a back and forth overtime period as the Lightning and Stars exchanged scoring chances. Both Vasilevskiy and Khudobin stood tall in their respective nets. The Stars were able to survive the barrage by the Lightning as they looked to end the series. Dallas remained calm and cool with the puck forcing the Lightning into mistakes. The third line of Tampa Bay continued to create scoring chances with Khudobin standing tall for the Stars. Just like in regulation the Stars defence was very active keeping pucks in the offensive zone as they looked to end the game. With the Lightning pressing for the winning goal, Joe Pavelski sacrificed his body to make sure Brayden Point didn’t win the game. Despite the Stars getting outshot 7-2 in the first overtime, they were able to survive and force a second overtime.
It was a much better start for the Stars in double overtime. Dallas was able to drive the play similar to what we saw in regulation. Early on in double overtime Denis Gurianov had a glorious chance to end the game, but Victor Hedman forced Gurianov to shoot the puck sooner than he would have liked too. The Stars had the better of the opportunities. But on a play over the blue line, Corey Perry won a net mouth scramble and ended the game.
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