Tonight is Game Four of the Stanley Cup finals and the Bolts carry a 2-1 series lead on the Dallas Stars. Following a Game Three victory on Wednesday night where Tampa Bay absolutely dominated the puck (the frontline of Point/Kucherov/Palat all scored a goal as well as defenseman Victor Hedman), the big story was Tampa Captain Steven Stamkos, who had his Willis Reed moment: playing three minutes on ice and scoring the second goal of the game after not having played all playoffs due to a core injury.
He went farside and it was his first goal since February 20th. It was his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Finals, as he didn’t score in the six games against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. However, after not coming back out to start the second period, he didn’t play again. The Captain is now unfit to play in Game Four and likely Game Five tomorrow, but isn’t ruled out should the series continue.
For the Bolts, they’ve gotten this far without him and their frontline has been deadly all playoffs. Stamkos was playing the third line, which did see an upgrade with him/Maroon/Paquette as opposed to Barclay Goodrow. For Stamkos, if he did only play three minutes on ice for a Cup winning Tampa squad, they were three memorable minutes.
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