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National Hockey League
Tampa Bay 3, Dallas 2
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, September 21, 2020
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Referees: Steve Kozari, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Steve Barton
Attendance: N/A

The Tampa Bay Lightning double-dipped on the power play during a three-goal first period and rode a 27-save performance from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to claim a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night in Edmonton to even the Stanley Cup Final at one win apiece.

Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat netted man-advantage markers while Kevin Shattenkirk also tallied to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead that was too much for the Stars to overcome.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven championship series will be played Wednesday, and the Stars are well aware their lack of discipline can't continue against Tampa Bay's high-octane attack.

"It's where we lost the game," Stars forward Mattias Janmark said. "We've taken way too many (penalties) throughout the playoffs."

The three-goal outburst in just under four minutes was enough for the Lightning, who built on a dominating third period in the opener, even though Dallas claimed the first game of the series 4-1.

Point started the scoring with his team's first power-play goal in five outings. After taking Nikita Kucherov's pass, he fired a one-timer that went off the stick of Stars defenseman Esa Lindell and into the top corner at 11:23. It snapped Tampa Bay's 0-for-15 slump with the man-advantage and marked the first time in seven games the Lightning opened the scoring.

"Scoring that first goal is big," Point said. "That's all we're thinking about."

Palat netted Tampa Bay's second power-play goal of the night, a tally set up by a brilliant cross-ice pass from Nikita Kucherov at the 14:22 mark, and Shattenkirk completed the goal rush 54 seconds later when his long shot ricocheted off Lindell's knee before finding the twine. At that point, Dallas had fired only two shots on goal.

Kucherov and Victor Hedman both collected a pair of assists for the Lightning.

However, Dallas was the better team after the first intermission and was rewarded with 5:17 remaining in the middle frame when Joe Pavelski put his team on the board by deflecting a point shot for the power-play marker. Pavelski was denied on a breakaway shortly after, a key save by Vasilevskiy, who has won all six games following a loss during this year's postseason.

Janmark had an easy redirection tally set up by John Klingberg to make it a one-goal deficit at 5:27 of the third period, but that's as close as the Stars could make it as the Lightning clamped down defensively. Dallas managed only two shots on goal after making it a 3-2 game.

Vasilevskiy wasn't busy in the first and third periods, but he made the difference in the middle frame by stopping 17 shots.

"He's been huge for us. Best player every game," Palat said of Vasilevskiy. "The first game we didn't help him much, but tonight he was awesome."

With the series now into a new phase, a huge key will be which team can control the game in the manner it wants. Tampa Bay plays an up-tempo, puck-moving style, while Dallas relies more on a counterattack.

"It's a couple good teams that have something of a foundation to winning games and how to play," Pavelski said. "We were close to ours in Game 1 and got away from it early in this one and the hole was too deep. We need to get our game to that level and it needs to stay."

Anton Khudobin stopped 28 shots for the Stars, who were also dealt a blow to their lineup with forward Blake Comeau knocked from the game in the second period after he was on the receiving end of a hard hit from Ryan McDonagh.

Although he's close to returning from injury and took part in the morning skate, Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos didn't play. The star center has yet to skate in a game since the league restarted. However, Jan Rutta, who last played Aug. 5, and Carter Verhaeghe dressed in place of Luke Schenn and Zach Bogosian.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Dallas   Tampa Bay
John Klingberg 2 Points Victor Hedman 2
Mattias Janmark 1 Goals Ondrej Palat 1
John Klingberg 2 Assists Victor Hedman 2
Joe Pavelski 1 Power Play Goals Ondrej Palat 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Anton Khudobin .903 Save Percentage Andrei Vasilevskiy .931
Anton Khudobin 28 Saves Andrei Vasilevskiy 27
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Dallas 29 2 1-5 2-4 12 34
Tampa Bay 31 3 2-4 4-5 14 35
Upcoming Games
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against Dallas. The Lightning have a W/L % of .605 after a win and .630 after a loss.
  • Dallas will play their next game at home against Tampa Bay. The Stars have a W/L % of .605 after a win and .452 after a loss.