Sports Minute: Lightning lead Stars 3-1 after 2nd in Stanley Cup G2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Nikita Kucherov had the primary assists on two power-play goals for Tampa Bay after taking some early hits, and the Lightning led the Dallas Stars 3-1 after two periods in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.
Tampa Bay had failed to score on its previous 14 chances with the man advantage, since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finale, until the Kucherov-assisted goals.
Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat had the power-play goals, with Victor Hedman picking up the secondary assist on each one. Kevin Shattenkirk's goal put Tampa Bay up 3-0 after the first period.
Dallas finally got on the board on a power play with 5:17 left in the second. John Klingberg took a shot from near the blue line, and Joe Pavelski redirected the puck with his raised stick even with Ryan McDonagh all over him in front of the net.
The Lightning are trying to do what they did in each of their first two Stanley Cup Final appearances, when they followed Game 1 losses by winning Game 2. They were the 2004 champion when they beat Calgary in a seven-game series, and lost the 2015 final in six games against Chicago.
After making a Stanley Cup Final-record 22 saves in the third period of Dallas' 4-1 win in Game 1, Anton Khudobin allowed three goals on four shots in a span of less than four minutes in the first period.
The Stars entered the second game having won four in a row, a streak during which Khudobin stopped 139 of 145 shots. He had 16 saves through two periods.
Tampa Bay scored the opening goal for the first time in seven games on Point's one-timer during a power play.
Kucherov's 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) are the most ever in a postseason for a Tampa Bay player. Point now has 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists), matching the previous record set by Brad Richards (12 goals, 14 assists) during the 2004 championship run.
Pavelski’s 10th goal this postseason was No. 58 for his career, matching former Stars standout Mike Modano for second-most by a U.S. born-player. Joe Mullen’s 60 is the most, still less than half of the overall record of 122 for Wayne Gretzky.
On their second power play of the game, the Lightning cycled the puck to set up Kucherov's pass to Point to open the scoring 11:23 into the game. Three minutes later, soon after Khudobin slid over to stop Kucherov's one-timer, Palat finished a nice passing sequence, taking advantage of a half-open net.
Shattenkirk scored less than a minute later.
Kucherov left the bench momentarily early in the game after slamming hard into the boards on a collision with defenseman Jamie Oleksiak after trying to block a shot. Kucherov had already ended up on the ice twice before, when he was popped by Dallas captain Jamie Benn and when he drew a high-sticking penalty against Mattias Janmark.
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