There will be at least one more game in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. The Dallas Stars survived a furious onslaught Saturday from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Corey Perry scored the winning goal in double overtime to earn the 3-2 victory in Game 5.
Miss any of the game? We’re here with the top takeaways as we look ahead to Game 6 on Monday night in Edmonton, Alberta.
Stanley Cup Final Game 5 in 10 words or less
Dallas to Tampa Bay: “We’re not going home!”
Player of the game: Corey Perry, RW, Dallas Stars
With due respect to Anton Khudobin — who had his best game since Game 1, with 39 saves — the player of the game was the man who accounted for the Stars’ first and last goals. Perry’s fourth of the postseason got Dallas on the board in the first period, and then his clutch game winner in double overtime staved off elimination for the Stars and sent the Stanley Cup Final to a Game 6.
What worked for Dallas?
Discipline. The Stars were missing Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz and Blake Comeau, three of their top five penalty killers. The Lightning had scored on six of their previous 12 power-play chances in the series. After penalties short-circuited them in their previous three losses, the Stars took just one Saturday: a high-sticking call on Tyler Seguin in the first period, and they killed it. A heck of an effort on the second night of back-to-back games.
What didn’t work for Tampa Bay?
Closing the door. The Stars played expectedly desperate hockey in the first period to grab the lead, but the Lightning got the better of the play for the next three periods before Dallas had a solid second overtime. The Lightning had their chances, with the Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde lines generating chances. But they couldn’t get the bounce that would have put Dallas out of the game and the series — despite 92 shot attempts. They might end up regretting not getting it done Saturday.
Dallas 1-0: Corey Perry (Tyler Seguin and Jamie Oleksiak), 17:52, first period
Perry’s game is simple: go to the net, hope that good things happen. Seguin did a nice bit of stickhandling to get the puck deep into the Lightning zone before hitting a defensive wall. But the puck traveled to Perry and he roofed it for his fourth goal of the playoffs and second in two games — both on assists from Seguin.
The Lightning’s top line continued to just abuse opposing defenses. Kucherov’s short pass in the attacking zone found Palat in stride, and he did the rest: cutting around Esa Lindell and then cutting across the net to tuck the puck past Khudobin for his 11th goal of the postseason.
Tampa Bay 2-1: Mikhail Sergachev (Brayden Point), 3:38, third period
The Lightning looked as though they had this one in hand after the young defenseman snuck a point shot through three bodies and into the Dallas net. It was his third of the playoffs, and he seemed pretty happy about it.
This goal from Pavelski was notable for a dozen reasons. It tied Game 5, which eventually reached overtime. It was his 13th goal of the postseason, which tied Point for the playoff lead. It was his 61st goal in the playoffs, moving him ahead of Joe Mullen for most by an American-born player in NHL history. And it came a few seconds after a crucial third-period power play expired, on a high-sticking penalty that Pavelski drew. This is why Dallas signed him.
Dallas 3-2: Corey Perry (John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin), 9:23, second overtime
Klingberg deserves a lot of credit for the winner, as his point shot created some chaos and allowed Perry to get his initial chance. Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made the save, but Perry stuck with it for his second goal of the night — and to give the Stars new life in the Stanley Cup Final.
The BEST hug 🥰 pic.twitter.com/KUOh07ylid
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 27, 2020
Quote of the game
“We enjoy being called underdogs, and every person — really this whole time in the bubble — seeming to choose the other team that we’re playing. We relish that.” — Tyler Seguin on the Stars’ motivation.
Rule nuance of the night
Should not be an icing call. pic.twitter.com/pqyHWt9cGT
— Here’s Your Replay ⬇️ (@TheReplayGuy) September 27, 2020
In the first overtime, the Stars sent the puck down the ice and it appeared to deflect off the Tampa Bay net and over the line for an icing. However, replays showed the puck glanced off the right pad of Vasilevskiy and then over the line, which should have nullified the icing. None of the on-ice officials saw it, and it wasn’t reviewable.
But the Stars got a break when the officials didn’t know which players were on the ice during the play; that, plus a little arguing from coach Rick Bowness, got their defenders some additional rest before the faceoff down the ice.
Celebration of the night
Staying alive 😅 pic.twitter.com/fmpnGXsm5l
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 27, 2020
The Dallas bench responds to Perry’s double-overtime goal. Wow.
The big question for Game 6: Is the pressure on Tampa Bay now?
The Stars extended the series to six games with a double-overtime winner. This could be the type of thing that launches them in a series the Lightning looked to have in hand. Does that shift the dynamic? Do the Lightning start thinking about playoff heartbreaks of yore? Or it this Tampa team truly a different version than what we’ve seen from the Lightning in the past?