2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final

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After a thrilling round-trip 4 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning took a 3-1 series lead by beating the Stars 5-4 in OT on Friday. The Stars face elimination with little time to gather their ideas, while the Lightning aim to win the Stanley Cup in Game 5 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET on NBC: direct).

Kevin Shattenkirk scored the winner of the game in overtime on a power play following a polarizing penalty call against Jamie Benn. Hockey fans aren’t likely to argue this point though: Match 4 of Stars – Lightning was the most exciting fight in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

So far, at least.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

This time a good start was not enough

Throughout the first three games of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, strong starts gave way to successful finishes. Game 4, on the other hand, required both the stars and the Lightning to deal with the lead changes.

First, the Stars hit early. John Klingberg jumped on a loose puck after his initial (blocked) shot attempt to pass one behind Andrei Vasilevskiy. From there, Alexander Radulov used the power of geometry to take out Jamie Benn, who made a nifty pass to set up a goal from Joe Pavelski. With about a minute and a half in the first period, the Stars led 2-0.

However, they wouldn’t go into the first intermission with that two-goal advantage.

Kevin Shattenkirk sent Ondrej Palat to the ice, then Palat fed Brayden Point with a fabulous pass. On this half-break, Palat scored a nice goal to bring the score to 2-1 at the end of the first.

Soon after, Point scored once more to tie things 2-2. Point conceded on a wacky rebound, but the Lightning power play looked dangerous before he scored. It wouldn’t be the last time the man advantage made a big play.

Tyler Seguin didn’t score the 3-2 goal, but he did. Seguin did just about everything more score by creating havoc around the lightning net, then Corey Perry hit him.

It looked like the Stars were going to climb 4-2 on a rebound attempt from Nicholas Caamano, but Vasilevskiy made such a nice save that he won his own post.

Instead of falling behind 4-2, the Lightning power play did it again, with Yanni Gourde conceding a few luckier rebounds.

Stars and Lightning continue to trade punches as Game 4 moves on to OT

So the two teams entered the third period tied 3-3, and the twists continued. To start, Alex Killorn set up a prayer of a shot that beat Anton Khudobin. Khudobin was criticized for the 4-3 goal, but it’s also fair to note an accidental projection from John Klingberg.

It could have been a winner of the game, but not in this one. Joe Pavelski’s shot rebounded Kevin Shattenkirk (and almost Tyler Seguin?) To bring the score to 4-4. Remarkably, Game 4 moved into overtime, which marks the first game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final to require an OT.

As overtime approached, Point took a penalty on Corey Perry, only the officials made a questionable beautification call on Point. With the two teams 4-4, Tyler Seguin shot what appeared to be a fateful penalty on Mikhail Sergachev.

After the Lightning power play dominated during regulation, would the Stars score in the midst of controversy? No, not yet at least.

After a successful kill by the Lightning PK, Tampa Bay also received a power play chance early in overtime. This has had its own controversy, as some have not bought Jamie Benn guilty of an offense against Tyler Johnson.

At the end of that power play opportunity, Kevin Shattenkirk continued his rollercoaster of a Game 4 (and a few seasons, really) with the game winner in overtime. It wasn’t until Game 4 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final that the Stars lost in OT for the first time in this playoff.

The Lightning power play continued to strike in Game 4, and just like that, the Stars are on the verge of elimination in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Dallas Stars (VG leads 3-1)

Star 4, lightning 1. (to summarize)
Lightning 3, stars 2. (to summarize)
Lightning 5, stars 2. (to summarize)
Lightning 5, stars 4 [OT].
Game 5: Saturday, September 26, 8 p.m. ET – NBC (direct)
* Game 6: Monday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
* Game 7: Wednesday, September 30, 8 p.m. ET – NBC

*if necessary

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk sur NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.



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