- The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars are tied 1-1 in the 2020 Stanley Cup final
- After Tampa Bay’s impressive win in Game 2, the odds to win the best-of-seven series shifted dramatically
- Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from both teams moving forward, including injury updates and potential coaching strategy
The Stanley Cup Final is suddenly a best-of-five series.
The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 2 to even the series at one game apiece.
Lightning vs Stars Stanley Cup Finals Series Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-195|
Odds as of Sep. 21st.
The Stars earned the status of series favorite after their Game 1 win, but times have changed. What can bettors expect from both teams as the series shifts to Game 3?
Lightning: Will Steven Stamkos Return?
Steven Stamkos continues to skate with the Lightning at practice and watch games from the stands. The odds seem to suggest he will return and play at some point in this series. Stamkos tallied 66 points in 57 regular-season games and would undoubtedly tilt the ice in Tampa Bay’s favor. While head coach Jon Cooper continues to toy with the media, his captain does appear close to returning. With this much on the line, the return could come sooner rather than later.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 22, 2020
Stamkos isn’t the only star dealing with an injury. Brayden Point was in and out of the Lightning lineup in the Eastern Conference final. He had one of just about everything in Game 2 – one goal, one shot, one hit, and one blocked shot. It wasn’t his most impressive performance but Tampa Bay is definitely better off with him in the lineup, even if he’s nursing an injury. His 17:19 of ice time show he’s more than healthy enough to keep making an impact as the series progresses.
Stars: Will Key Players Fade Playing Heavy Minutes?
Stars head coach Rick Bowness seems to have decided to let his horses run wild in the Stanley Cup final. Miro Heiskanen led the team in ice time in Game 2, playing 24:51. Esa Lindell was next highest at 24:08 and John Klingberg third at 23:38.
Those are big minutes for a young core of defenseman in their first deep run through the playoffs. While the trio played reasonably well, it stands to reason they could tire out with only one day between games.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 22, 2020
Anton Khudobin allowed three goals while posting a .903 save percentage in Game 2. While he wasn’t as impressive as he was in the opener, the crease will continue to be his moving forward in the series. That fact could be another reason for the shift in the odds.
Unlike Andrei Vasilevskiy at the other end of the ice, Khudobin has never been a true number-one goalie in the league. He only started 26 games in the regular season, so playing a potential of seven games in fourteen days is foreign to him.
Keep an eye on his lateral movement and sharpness if this series gets to six or seven games.
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