A lot of people went into Saturday night’s game thinking that this would be the last game of hockey we would see for a few months. I fully expected Tampa Bay to be lifting the cup, but I am glad we have at least one more game in front of us before the drought starts. Dallas was able to prevent the Lightning from winning with a 3-2 win deep into the 2nd overtime period.
Tampa defender Victor Hedman said of the game, “It’s obviously not the outcome you want, but at the same time, we knew it was going to be a hard series and, you know, we had some good looks in overtime and throughout the game. But it wasn’t our night.”
The Dallas Stars were the first to open up the scoreboard 17:51 into the first period with a goal from eventual game-winner Corey Perry. Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak tapped the puck on the blue line to keep it from going out, sending it down the ice uncontrolled toward the goal. Perry grabbed the loose puck in front of the net and was able to slot it into the top left of the goal, hitting it off the bar.
Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning did not wait long to tie the game up, scoring less than five minutes into the second period. Tampa defender Kevin Shattenkirk took the puck behind the Tampa net to start a play from a safer position. He tapped it down the ice after getting hit into the boards toward the blue line where it was picked up by Nikita Kucherov, who got the puck to Palat to his right before getting screened by a Dallas defender. Palat took the puck to the right, causing Dallas defender Anton Khudobin to get down into his butterfly to cover the right side of the net. With a clean deke of the puck to the left, Palat was able to slide the puck past Khudobin’s right foot.
The game remained tied until early into the third period with another score from Tampa Bay, this time from Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev grabbed a pass at the point from linemate Brayden Point, who had taken the puck into the left faceoff circle of the Dallas zone. With the clean pass from Point, Sergachev was able to slap the puck into the left side of the Dallas net before Khudobin could react.
Dallas’ Joe Pavelski kept Dallas alive and set a new league record with his game-tying goal. Linemate Denis Gurianov took a slapshot from the blue line which was blocked by Andrei Vasilevskiy’s butterfly. Pavelski was able to grab the rebound inside the crease and flick the puck right behind Vasilevskiy’s leg pad, causing the goalie to kick the puck into the net while scrambling for it. With this score, Pavelski became the US-born player with the most playoff goals scored.
Dallas and Tampa Bay played evenly for the entirety of the first overtime period. Both played very cleanly and were close on shots-on-goal up until the very end. The game was ended by another goal from Dallas forward Perry. Just like the game-tying goal, this was scored off of a rebound swept into the net. Dallas defender John Klingberg took a slapshot at the net from the Tampa Bay blue line, but it was easily blocked by Vasilevskiy. The puck rebounded off the goaltender’s leg pad right in front of Perry, who was able to sneak it right past Vasilevskiy’s left foot.
Perry, who scored the game winning goal for Dallas said, “It was do-or-die for us tonight, and I thought our team game was pretty good. We had a lot of guys, they’re in the fight. That’s what we’re asking for. I scored the winner, but it could have been anybody. That’s what we’re asking of everybody.”