The Dallas Stars kept themselves alive in the Stanley Cup final by winning in second overtime the fifth game of the series between them and the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-2 on Saturday in Edmonton.
The precious trophy was at Rogers Place, but captain Steven Stamkos and his “Bolts” teammates will have to wait a little longer before lifting it. They will have another chance to do so on Monday, as the series is led 3-2 by these.
The Stars were constantly under the wrath of the Lightning, but Corey Perry used a rare chance to score midway through second overtime to keep Dallas alive. With a scrimmage in front of the net, the veteran beat Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was playing a good game.
As the Lightning led 2-1 early in the third thanks to a goal from Mikhail Sergachev and the team started to believe more and more, Joe Pavelski gave the Floridians a solid dose of reality ten minutes later by scoring his 13th in this series to force overtime.
Pavelski now leads the US-born players with a 61st career playoff goal, edging out Joe Mullen in first place.
Khudobin holds the fort
Perry opened the scoring first for the Stars, also scoring a second goal in two nights. The big striker quickly recovered a puck in the box and beat Vasilevskiy in the upper half.
Ondrej Palat had made fun of the Dallas defense in the second. With the puck on the paddle, the Slovak got around Esa Lindell before doing the same with Anton Khudobin to create the tie. This is an 11th in these series for Palat.
Brayden Point added his touch with two assists. With a pass over the net from Palat, Nikita Kucherov added a 26th to his record, becoming the third player in history, along with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, to get so many in a year.
Khudobin still had the confidence of coach Rick Bowness, despite allowing the Lightning 13 goals in the last three games. Whoever is a contender to consider for the Conn-Smythe Trophy has blocked 39 pucks, shutting the door at key times, especially in overtime.