The rested Dallas Stars — with another goal from man-of-the-moment Joel Kiviranta — took Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final 4-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Edmonton on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old Kiviranta was a lightly used winger for most of 2019-20, and indeed most of the playoffs, but has delivered at critical times in the past three series. That includes a Game 7 hat trick that eliminated Colorado in the second round, a tying goal setting up the overtime that eliminated Vegas in the Western Conference final, and now a second-period goal that gave Dallas a two-goal lead.
Joel Hanley, Jamie Oleksiak and Jason Dickinson — into an empty net — also scored for the Stars, who had four days off after eliminating Vegas in five games. Anton Khudobin faced 36 shots, including 22 in the third period, for the win.
Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning, who were pushed to six games by the New York Islanders and only had a day off before the Stanley Cup final began, and who remain without injured captain Steve Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on 19 shots.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
What did you think of the first game of the Stanley Cup final?