On August 1, the NHL returned to play with an expanded 24-team format. Over six weeks later, we are down to two worthy combatants, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, who will vie for the 2020 Stanley Cup. The start time for Game 1 is 7:30 p.m. with NBC handling the television broadcast in the United States.
How They Got Here
Tampa Bay: After going 2-1 in round robin play to earn the two-seed in the Eastern Conference, the Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games; eliminated the Boston Bruins in five games; and got by the New York Islanders in six games in the Eastern Conference Final.
Dallas: The Stars went 1-2 in round robin play to earn the three-seed in the Western Conference. They dispatched the Calgary Flames in six games; survived the Colorado Avalanche in seven games; and made surprisingly short work of the Vegas Golden Knights in five games in the Western Conference Final.
2019-20 Head to Head
The teams were able to get both regular season meetings in well before the regular season was paused due to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. On December 19, Dallas got an overtime goal from Tyler Seguin to post a 4-3 win over the Lightning in Tampa. The second meeting on January 27 saw the Stars win in overtime again, by a 3-2 count, in Dallas, thanks to a Jamie Benn goal.
Team Stats (Playoffs)
Tampa Bay: 17.9 PP% (12th), 83.6 PK% (8th), 3.11 GF/G (4th), 2.21 GA/G (3rd)
Dallas: 27.3 PP% (5th), 83.3 PK% (9th), 2.95 GF/G (7th), 3.05 GA/G (16th)
Playoff 5-on-5 numbers via Natural Stat Trick
Tampa Bay: 55.59 CF% (4th), 62.5 GF% (1st), 94.09 SV% (5th), 8.11 SH% (9th), 1.022 PDO (4th)
Dallas: 47.96 CF% (16th), 49.37 GF% (10th), 91.8 SV% (15th), 8.48 SH% (8th), 1.003 PDO (11th)
Tampa Bay: Andrei Vasilevskiy 14-5, 1.82 GAA, .931 save percentage, 0 SO
Dallas: Anton Khudobin 12-6, 2.62 GAA, .920 save percentage, 1 SO
Tampa Bay: Raw Charge
Dallas: Defending Big D
Fun fact: The Lightning became the first team in NHL history to win the clinching game of the First Round, Second Round, and Conference Finals in overtime.