The Lightning will get another bite at the apple to shoot down the Stars and capture the Stanley Cup. Let’s break down this pivotal Game 6 matchup and make some money on the best betting sites this Monday night!
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars
Monday, September 28, 2020 – 8:00 PM ET at Rogers Place
Stars Shine in Game 5
Down 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals against the most potent team in the league is not where you want to be if you’re the Dallas Stars. But here they were, trying for redemption in Game 5 after a controversial penalty call on Dallas captain Jamie Benn in the previous game led to Tampa Bay’s game-winning goal on the ensuing power play to take a commanding series lead.
Game 5 on Saturday night marked the first back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Finals in 11 years, and it occurred for only the second time since the 1950s. But Dallas would not be deterred as they received a sterling effort from their older veterans, including goaltender Anton Khudobin who kicked aside 39 of Tampa’s 41 shots, en route to a 3-2 double-overtime victory.
The Stars thirty-somethings have saved this series for Dallas, starting with Khudobin. At 34, he was supposed to be the backup until starting goalie Ben Bishop was injured at the end of last month and hasn’t returned. Fellow greybeards, Joe Pavelski at 36, and 35-year-old Corey Perry have combined for the last six Dallas goals.
"With how they play, I don't know if you can call them old," Stars center Tyler Seguin said. "They seem to have the best endurance of all of us. Joe keeps getting the late goals and Perry played a great game."
Injuries Mount on Both Sides
Tampa Bay got some disappointing news when they found out captain Steve Stamkos would not return for the Stanley Cup Finals. "Just to be blunt, he's done for the series," stated Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "Hopefully the next time we see him on the ice is during a trophy presentation."
However, Tampa Bay has gotten this far largely without the services of their 30-year-old superstar. He played in only five shifts of the first period in Game 3 against Dallas, scoring a goal in the process, which represented his only action since the league entered the bubble.
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh got rocked by a huge hit in the first overtime of Saturday night’s showdown. However, he has not shown up on the injury report and should be good to go on Monday night.
But the injury bug didn’t bite just the Lightning, as the Stars have several players on the shelf heading into Game 6. Dallas’s best penalty-killing forwards, Blake Comeau and Radek Faksa are unlikely to see action after their respective injuries, while Roope Hintz and Andrej Sekera could also be sidelined.
Wanna Make a Bet?
Over the last decade, the Lightning consistently rolls out high-octane offenses complemented by stellar goaltending, yet they cannot seem to close the deal. The franchise only has one Stanley Cup trophy on its mantle, and that occurred 16 years ago. One would think that they have the firepower to win tonight and put all that bad mojo behind them.
However, are the odds truly reflective of Tampa being worthy as heavy favorites against a gritty and talented Stars lineup? Dallas has had to reshuffle their combinations due to injury, but suddenly gelled at the right time with the newly-formed second line of Tyler Seguin, Joel Kiviranta, and Corey Perry striking gold in the last game with a pair of goals by Perry.
This game is more of a neutral ice coin flip than anything else. Should Tampa Bay be favored on top sportsbooks? Sure, but should you pay 70 percent juice for the privilege? No way. Grab the juice, don’t pay it, and shoot for the Stars in your NHL picks on Monday night.