Lightning shutout Stars in first Stanley Cup rematch
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves for his second straight shutout and 23rd overall and the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 5-0 on Saturday night in the first Stanley Cup rematch of the season.
The teams will meet again Tuesday night in Dallas. They had four previous scheduled meetings season postponed because of COVID protocols and weather issues in Dallas.
Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, and Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point and Pat Maroon also scored for Tampa Bay. The Lightning scored two power-play goals and one short-handed to extend their winning streak to four games.
“We did a lot of good things and tt was just a good team effort,’’ Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Special teams were outstanding with the power play going two-for-two, so it was just one of those games where we played well and a lot of things went right for us.’’
“I think overall we’re just not in sync enough at times,’’ Dallas forward Andrew Cogliano said. “It seems like every game it’s just something different and we’re not putting it together.’’
Palat struck three seconds into Tampa Bay’s first power-play chance, stealing the puck from Jason Dickinson down low and roofing a shot over Khudobin for his seventh of the season and fifth on the power play — which ties his single-season high.
Tampa Bay scored three goals in the second period.
Cirelli, back after missing two weeks, took a pass from Stamkos inside the Dallas blue line and raced in for a breakaway and pulled the puck to his backhand before lifting it over Khudobin for his seventh career short-handed goal at 4:06.
“After missing a few games I just wanted to get in and get my feet moving,’’ Cirelli said. “But it’s a little booster whenever you are able to get one in there. Luckily, I made a move and it went in for me tonight.”
Point made it 3-0 when he raced up the ice and cut to his right as he entered the Dallas zone and put the puck on the toe of his stick and wristed a shot back across his body to the far post at 8:17.
Maroon tapped in a pass from Tyler Johnson on a backdoor play at 15:12 for Tampa Bay’s second power-play goal of the game.
Stamkos scored his 10th of the season at 1:07 of the third, one-timing a backhand pass from Cirelli that made it 5-0 and ended the night for Khudobin.
“Tonight 5-on-5 for two periods we were very happy with the way we were playing,” Dallas head coach Rick Bowness said. “Special teams were a complete disaster. The power play sucked the life right out of the team. We had six power plays and we had eight forwards, all of our top guys, without a shot on net. And then that fifth goal. That fifth goal hurt us a lot.’’
Dallas RW Alexander Radulov missed his eighth consecutive game with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Coach Rick Bowness said Radulov has been doing some light skating on his own and could return at some point during a six-game homestand that opens on Tuesday against Tampa Bay.