The storyline for night one was Dobby’s killer night. Khudobin had 35 saves on 36 shots, and if we’re being honest, should have gone 36 for 36. He was a rock in goal for the Stars. The Stars held the momentum for the first two periods, out-pacing and out-scoring the Lightning. The Stars seemed faster and feistier than the Lightning in game 1.
The whole first period seemed like the Stars had the Lightning players on lock despite the ricochet goal scored by Gourde. Hanley kicked off the scoring early for the Stars with the first goal coming in the first five minutes. The Stars were playing relentless defense, and the Lightning were showing that they were fatigued by their long series with the Islanders.
With top notch play from the Big Rig, Oleksiak, the stars defenders were crashing down, and sending shots at Vasilevskiy. This strategy provided heavy slap shots and prime shot selections for the forwards, when the defenders are active on offense then they’re able to stretch the defense so Benn and Seguin could work down low. Tampa’s strategy of moving the puck in close to the goal and trying to work in tight got them in trouble when Kucherov was caught sleeping past the blue line, leading to the Stars second goal.
We’ll find out what adjustments Tampa Bay will attempt for game two. They’ll have to continue to try to counter Dallas’ speed, and they need to use their physicality and technicality to give them an advantage against the relentless forecheck of the Stars.
For now Stars are up 1-0.