Sports Minute: Stars, Lightning going to overtime in Game 4 of Cup Final
By STEPHEN WHYNOAP Hockey Writer
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning are going into overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night.
Joe Pavelski scored his second of the night with 8:25 left to tie it at 4. Dallas is trying to tie the series rather than fall into a 3-1 hole that few teams have climbed out of this deep into the NHL playoffs.
Anton Khudobin made 27 saves in regulation for the Stars. They were outshot 31-28, with Tampa Bay carrying much of the play at even strength.
Brayden Point has two goals for the Lightning — one with 32.6 seconds left in the first period and another 2:08 into the third. Fellow playoff MVP front-runner Victor Hedman saved a goal in the third when he swept the puck out of the crease while it was slowly sliding toward the goal behind Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Dallas is 5-0 in overtime this postseason, while Tampa Bay is 6-1.
With Dallas trailing the series 2-1, coach Rick Bowness shuffled his lines and top two defensive pairings and got some strong shifts early, even if didn’t show up on the shot count. Then Klingberg continued to work his playoff magic.
The Swedish defenseman collected the puck at his own blue line, skated it into the offensive zone by himself and got a good bounce. Klingberg’s initial shot banked off Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta’s right skate and between Victor Hedman’s legs before he got the puck back and fired it past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who might’ve been caught off guard.
Pavelski scored on the Stars’ third and final goal of the period with 1:32 left. Captain Jamie Benn continued his strong play this postseason, feeding the puck past Rutta to Pavelski on a 2-on-1 rush.
Each of Dallas’ two first-period goals came with Hedman on the ice at even strength, a rarity for one of the Conn Smythe front-runners as playoff MVP.
Hedman was right there to congratulate Point after he cut Tampa Bay’s deficit in half 59 seconds after Pavelski scored. Linemate Ondrej Palat sprung Point for the breakaway with a perfect pass, and the Lightning’s top center finished it off with a backhander to beat Khudobin.
Point continued his brilliant playoffs by scoring his 13th goal to tie it 2:08 after the end of the first intermission. Seguin, whose goal drought is at 12 games and counting, helped put the Stars ahead by getting the puck into the crease off Vasilevskiy, and Perry crashed the net to put it in.
The Lightning took the lead with 13:19 left in the third when Alex Killorn fired a perfect turnaround shot from the right faceoff circle into the top left corner. The Stars’ fourth goal to tie it up was almost the opposite: Pavelski banking it in off Vasilevskiy and Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk with Seguin in front.
Pavelski’s two goals give him 60 in his playoff career, tying him with Joe Mullen for the most by an American player. His 12 goals this postseason are the most of any player 36 or older.
Dallas was again without veteran forward Blake Comeau, who appeared to injure his right shoulder in Game 2 and lost Roope Hintz to injury in the second. The Lightning didn’t have captain Steven Stamkos, who aggravated an injury after scoring in Game 3 two nights ago.
After this one ends, these teams don’t have much time to dwell on the result. Game 5 is Saturday night in the first back to back in a Cup Final since 2009 and just the second in the NHL’s expansion era that began in 1967.
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