It will be the Tampa Bay Lightning (16-10) and the Dallas Stars (10-16) in the Stanley Cup Finals playing in the bubble in Edmonton. The Stars are 2-0 against the Lightning this year — both wins coming in overtime.
Tampa Bay won the Cup in 2004, beating the Calgary Flames 4-3, and lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015.
Nine of the current Lightning players, including captain Steven Stamkos and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, were on that 2015 team. So was Stars goalie Ben Bishop, who started 25 of the Lightning’s playoff games and recorded a .921 postseason save percentage, and Stars interim head coach Rick Bowness, who was a Tampa Bay associate coach from 2013 to 2018.
The Lightning’s Vasilevskiy is one of the league’s top goalies and has recorded a league-best 14-5 record and a .930 save percentage in these playoffs.
Dallas’ Anton Khudobin ranks second in the postseason with a 12-6 record and .920 save percentage.
Series tied 1-1
Tampa Bay Lightning (2) vs. New York Islanders — Tampa Bay won 4-2
The Tampa Bay Lightning made it to the Stanley Cup finals. The Lightning are an offensive powerhouse with one of the best goaltenders in the league between the pipes.
The Dallas Stars are headed to the NHL Finals by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights and the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues, in six games in the First Round. The Stars are great defensively and have been scoring at an extremely high rate in recent weeks. This is in large part due to a resurgence by the team’s several veteran players.
By Garrett Seymour, TDS Communications Intern