24/09/2020

Who played well in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final? Sometimes it’s easy to tell, sometimes it isn’t. NHL.com graded the players in the 3-2 victory by the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday that tied the best-of-…

Who played well in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final? Sometimes it’s easy to tell, sometimes it isn’t. NHL.com graded the players in the 3-2 victory by the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday that tied the best-of-7 series. Here are the players and trends that stood out the most.[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]
Honor roll
Nikita Kucherov (Lightning) — The forward took some punishment early when Stars forward Mattias Janmark got him with a high stick 3:20 into the first period, and he had to briefly go to the dressing room after sliding into the boards. But Kucherov was outstanding after that, with assists on both Lightning power-play goals in the first. His 28 points (six goals, 22 assists) set a single-season postseason record for the Lightning, two more than Brad Richards had in 2004. Kucherov also has the most multipoint postseason games (25) for Tampa Bay, passing Martin St. Louis (24). 
Video: DAL@TBL, Gm2: Palat beats Khudobin for PPG
Joe Pavelski (Stars) — Pavelski has made a career out of nifty redirects and deflections. He was at it again in Game 2, redirecting John Klingberg’s shot for a power-play goal 14:43 into the second period to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-1. It was Pavelski’s 10th goal of the postseason, putting him in a three-way tie for first in the NHL with Tampa Bay center Brayden Point and Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat. Pavelski, who led the Stars with five shots on goal in Game 2, has 58 career postseason goals, tied for second with former Stars forward Mike Modano for most among American-born players. Joe Mullen has 60.
Victor Hedman (Lightning) — Hedman had an assist on each of Tampa Bay’s two power-play goals in the first period and was second on the Lightning with 21:31 of ice time (Ryan McDonagh, 22:33). Hedman, who finished third in the voting for the Norris Trophy for the NHL’s best defenseman on Monday, has 65 points (16 goals, 49 assists) in 105 career postseason games.
John Klingberg (Stars) — The defenseman had two assists, the first when Pavelski redirected his shot on a power play. His second was a beautiful pass to Janmark, whose goal cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-2 5:27 into the third period. Klingberg also had three blocked shots and was third on the Stars in ice time at 23:45. 
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning) — The goaltender was at his best when the Stars were trying to come back from 3-0 down. Vasilevskiy made the save on 27 of 29 shots, including 17 of 18 in the second period, for his 30th career postseason victory (30-21).
Stock watch 
Bad feelings (up) — It hasn’t taken long for the nastiness to develop. There were a few scrums, including one with 3:02 remaining in the second period that led to five players going to the penalty box: Stars forward Corey Perry and Klingberg for roughing, Lightning forward Cedric Paquette and Hedman for roughing and Lightning forward Pat Maroon for goalie interference.
Dallas discipline (down) — Coach Rick Bowness wasn’t too happy when the Stars took three penalties in the third period of Game 1. They repeated that in the first period of Game 2. They took six penalties in the game and are the most penalized team in the postseason with (106). The Lightning made them pay for their lack of early discipline, which leads us to … 
Lightning power play (up) — It was only a matter of time before the Lightning, who hadn’t scored a power-play goal in their past 15 opportunities, were going to break through. They went 2-for-3 in the first period of Game 2 (2-for-4 for the game), a welcome sight to help get them out to a 3-0 lead.
Video: DAL@TBL, Gm2: Point one-times power-play goal
Alexander Radulov (up) — The Stars forward assisted on both goals and had three shots on goal and three hits in 19:23. He has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past five games. 
Mattias Janmark (up) — If Janmark exhaled after his goal 5:27 into the third period, he had good reason. It was the forward’s first goal since Feb. 15 (33 games), when the Stars defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. Janmark has seven points (one goal, six assists) in 22 postseason games. 
Video: DAL@TBL, Gm2: Janmark puts home pass from Klingberg
What we learned
Close, but no comeback for Stars
Dallas came into Game 2 with a 5-4-0 postseason record when trailing after one period. The Stars showed more life in the second and third periods, and a goal each from Pavelski and Janmark brought them to within one, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lightning’s big first period. 
The Lightning are awake now
The Lightning wasted no time in attacking the Stars in the first period, outshooting them 14-6 and taking a 3-0 lead on the strength of two power-play goals. After Janmark’s goal cut the lead to 3-2 in the third, the Lightning responded well, outshooting the Stars 9-0 over the next 11:08. The Lightning are 6-0 in the postseason after a loss and have outscored opponents 19-11 in those games.
Video: Mike Johnson discusses top players from both squads