Sports Minute: Stars come out hitting Lightning in Stanley Cup Final Game 1
By STEPHEN WHYNOAP Hockey Writer
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Dallas Stars came out hitting the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, which is tied at 1 after the first period.
Stars forward Blake Comeau hit playoff MVP front-runner Victor Hedman on one of the first shifts, and second-round Game 7 hero Joel Kiviranta crushed top Lightning center Brayden Point to set up Joel Hanley's goal that opened the scoring. Defenseman Esa Lindell also got into the physicality with Point, who has been playing through injury.
Hanley scored 5:40 in off a feed from Roope Hintz, who collected the puck after it was dislodged by Kiviranta's hit on Point. He was wide open after Tampa Bay defenseman Ryan McDonagh took exception to the hit and left his position.
Hanley's goal is his first of any kind in the NHL.
Yanni Gourde tied the score for the Lightning seven minutes later after Blake Coleman took a shot, the puck pinballed off goaltender Anton Khudobin, Gourde's left skate and Hintz's right skate.
That was the final shot of the period, as each team didn't have one on net for the final 7:32. Lindell had the Stars' last shot before intermission with 10:13 left, and it was stopped by Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The series got under way with the Stanley Cup stationed rinkside inside the bubble parallel to the center red line. For all the usual tradition of the Cup only getting to the arena when a team has the chance to win it, playing without fans allowed the league to put it front and center for the players to literally see what they're playing for.
Dallas last won it in 1999 and Tampa Bay in 2004. The Stars' core is in the final for the first time and several Lightning players and coach Jon Cooper are back after losing in 2015. It’s the first time these teams have faced off in the final.
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