NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Stars Vs. LightningPublished September 25, 2020 by Sol FH
The puck drops in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at 1:00 GMT and the Lightning have a 2-1 advantage.
The NHL Stanley Cup Finals is in full-gear as we go into Game 4 of the best-of-seven series between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The big story from Game 3 was the long-anticipated return of Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In his return, Stamkos scored on his first shot since February, and his teammates celebrated after 211 days since his injury. Stamkos left the game early after suffering a very minor injury, but his impact was felt in the first period as he hit the back of the net for the second Lightning goal of the evening, after Kuchorov put in the first just a minute before. The Lightning dominated the entirety of the game and they routed the Stars 5-2 to take the lead in the series.
“Just to be able to get out into a game and have an impact on a game, which a month ago may have never been possible” commented Stamkos. “It’s been such a long time. At this time of the year, you want to do anything you can to help your team win. I’ve watched these guys be so committed to what our end goal is, and to be part of it tonight, it was a dream come true.”
Nikita Kucherov, Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, and Ondrej Palat rounded out the goals for the Lightning.
“They made two good shots early,” Jamie Benn, the Stars' captain said. “They capitalized on their chances and we didn’t.”
Dallas' goalie, Anton Khudobin was peppered with 29 shots before head coach Rick Bowness decided to replace him with rookie Jake Oettinger. As was expected, Khudobin didn't take it the best way and exclaimed that it was ultimately Bowness’s choice and that he didn’t ask or want a rest.
Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy yet again made some huge saves against 31 shots total, including a miracuilous left pad stop on Corey Perry.
With Stamkos back, the Lightning is indeed improved and look like the team we've come accustomed to watching over this last decade. They have been one of the best teams in the league and are now stronger than ever.
“I’m so proud of these guys, and to be able to share that moment with them and just even be on the bench and watch how well we played tonight, I have told these guys before: It’s inspiring,” Stamkos commented. “It was great to be part of it.”
The Stars will need to bounce back in Game 4 if they don't the series to get out of reach, but the Lightning are very strong and it seems Dallas may be out-gunned.
NHL Stanley Cup Betting
The Stanley Cup Finals is one of the highest wagered-upon championships in the world and bookmakers are all offering competitive odds ahead of, and during each game. bet365 Sports has the Lightning to win at 1.58 in Game 4, while the Stars are just behind at 2.50.
Throughout the game, punters will be able to make wagers on live in-play markets that bet365 will be offering.
The odds in this article at the bookmaker mentioned above were accurate at the time of writing, on Sept. 24, 13:15 GMT.