For a rare time in the Stanley Cup final, the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning will play two games in 24 hours, a marathon that begins Friday night on TVA Sports.
The fiery Floridians are aiming for nothing less than a double to brandish the prestigious prize. But their Texas rivals, behind 2-1 in this final confrontation, have not said their last word. The watchword in the locker room: discipline.
The message from the Stars head coach could not be clearer to Alexander Radulov, among others, who received two bad penalties on Wednesday.
“We give them time on the ice and get their best players out as much as possible. Our players have to understand (the message), ”said Rick Bowness after the 5-2 loss.
Two stars without shine
And what about Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn? These two mainstays of the attack, former recipients of Hart (2018) and Art-Ross (2015), respectively, have no points in this final.
“They are our best players,” added Bowness. We have to give them the necessary ice time and we give it to them. They have to seize the opportunity and they need help to make it happen. ”
Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov hit the 30-point mark in Game 3, and now holds a two-point lead over teammate Brayden Point at the top of the Summer Ball scorers.
Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who scored in the third game, is just one point away from becoming the sixth fullback in NHL history to have 25 or more points in the playoffs.
This will be the first series of two-night meetings since 2009, only second since 1968.
Teams holding a 2-1 lead in a “best-of-seven” Stanley Cup final (since 1939) maintained a 42-11 (0.793) performance. Three of the last five champions held a 2-1 lead in the final. Conversely, the St. Louis Blues had missed two of the first three games before taking the honors last year.