Stars force Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals

David Koier, Courier Staff


It’s always a wild ride in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Saturday night’s game between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning was no exception. The Lightning were on the brink of winning their second Stanley Cup in franchise history, but the Stars fought hard into double overtime to extend the playoffs at least one more game.

Corey Perry led off the scoring in Game 5 with a late first period goal to put the Stars up 1-0. Ondrej Palat tied their game up after Tampa Bay’s first line, which has been dominant in this year’s Finals and set up the goal perfectly to tie the game.

The Lighting’s victory looked inevitable after a late third-period goal by Mikhail Sergachev gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead. However, a late period goal by Joe Pavelski made certain that if the Stars were to go down, they wouldn’t go down without a fight. With his goal Saturday night, Pavelski passed Joe Mullen for the most playoff goals by an American-born player with 61.

Stars goalie Anton Khudobin looked like a brick wall in the first overtime period, stopping any possible attack the Lightning could throw his way. It wasn’t until the second overtime when Perry would net the game winner, his second of the game, and send the Final to Game 6 on Monday.

The Stars and Lightning will try to rest up for Game 6 after closing off these two tight back-to-back Stanley Cup Final contests. The Lightning’s series lead shrinks to 3-2 after this double-overtime loss.

The Stanley Cup Final continues this Monday in Edmonton at 7 p.m. CT on NBC.