09/25 21:14 CDT Gourde pulls Lightning into 3-3 tie with Stars in Game 4
Gourde pulls Lightning into 3-3 tie with Stars in Game 4
By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Hockey Writer
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) --- Yanni Gourde scored with 1:06 left in the second to
pull the Tampa Bay Lightning even with the Dallas Stars at 3 after two periods
of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night.
It was the second late-period, potentially momentum-shifting goal by the
Lightning after Brayden Point scored with 32.6 seconds left in the first. Point
also scored a power-play goal early in the second.
Tampa Bay has dominated for long stretches but at one point trailed 3-2 with
Dallas scoring three times on seven shots against Vezina Trophy finalist
goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. After John Klingberg and Joe Pavelski scored in
the first, Tyler Seguin made a spectacular play to set up Corey Perry for the
Stars' third goal toward the midway point of the second.
It might be another Lightning rout if not for the play of Anton Khudobin, who
made some spectacular saves and stopped 20 shots in the first two periods.
Tampa Bay had a Dallas 23-17 shots edge.
With Dallas trailing the series 2-1, coach Rick Bowness shuffled his lines and
top two defensive pairings and got some strong shifts early, even if didn't
show up on the shot count. Then Klingberg continued to work his playoff magic.
The Swedish defenseman collected the puck at his own blue line, skated it into
the offensive zone by himself and got a good bounce. Klingberg's initial shot
banked off Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta's right skate and between Victor
Hedman's legs before he got the puck back and fired it past goaltender Andrei
Vasilevskiy, who might've been caught off guard.
Pavelski scored on the Stars' third and final goal of the period with 1:32
left. Captain Jamie Benn continued his strong play this postseason, feeding the
puck past Rutta to Pavelski on a 2-on-1 rush.
The goal was Pavelski's 59th in his playoff career, one behind Joe Mullen for
the most among U.S.-born players.
Each of Dallas' two first-period goals came with Hedman on the ice at even
strength, a rarity for one of the Conn Smythe front-runners as playoff MVP.
Hedman was right there to congratulate Point after he cut Tampa Bay's deficit
in half 59 seconds after Pavelski scored. Linemate Ondrej Palat sprung Point
for the breakaway with a perfect pass, and the Lightning's top center finished
it off with a backhander to beat Khudobin.
Point continued his brilliant playoffs by scoring his 13th goal to tie it 2:08
after the end of the first intermission. Seguin, whose goal drought is at 12
games and counting, helped put the Stars ahead by getting the puck into the
crease off Vasilevskiy, and Perry crashed the net to put it in.
Taking a lead into the third period could've been a huge boost for Dallas,
which trails the series. The Stars are 9-1 this postseason when leading after
Dallas was again without veteran forward Blake Comeau, who appeared to injure
his right shoulder in Game 2. The Lightning didn't have captain Steven Stamkos,
who aggravated an injury after scoring in Game 3 two nights ago.
After this one ends, these teams don't have much time to dwell on the result.
Game 5 is Saturday night in the first back to back in a Cup Final since 2009
and just the second in the NHL's expansion era that began in 1967.
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