The Dallas Stars extended the NHL championship series by winning a thrilling Game 5 on Saturday, but the Tampa Bay Lightning will still have a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6 on Monday.
The final round of the postseason has featured quite a bit of drama, with a Kevin Shattenkirk overtime goal in Game 4 giving Tampa Bay a huge leg up in the series. The Bolts had several chances to close things out Saturday night, but Corey Perry kept the Stars alive with a goal in double overtime.
Though Dallas has what it takes to overcome the 3-2 deficit, Tampa Bay hasn't dropped back-to-back games this postseason, so the Stars have to keep the momentum going if they are to force a Game 7.
Stanley Cup Final Game 6
When: Monday, Sept. 28
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Odds (via DraftKings): TB: -162 (wager $162 to win $100); DAL: +140 (wager $100 to win $140)
The Stars had all the pressure on them in Game 5, and they played like it.
Down 2-1 in the third, Joe Pavelski came through with the tying goal before Perry finished it in double overtime.
"It was do-or-die for us tonight, and I thought our team game was pretty good," Perry said afterwards, per David Satriano of NHL.com. "We had a lot of guys. They're in the fight. That's what we're asking for. I scored the winner, but it could have been anybody. That's what we're asking of everybody."
Perhaps more important than the effort was the mental toughness to take only one penalty, something that had been a problem in the series. Tampa Bay was unable to score in its only power-play opportunity, which helped keep Dallas in the game.
However, even the one that didn't yield a goal was still impressive:
Over the course of the series, the Lightning have dominated on the power play, scoring during six of their 13 chances. They had three goals in four opportunities in Game 4. This was the No. 1 scoring offense in the NHL this year, and the Bolts are especially good when they have a man advantage.
Dallas avoided the issue Saturday but won't be able to hold down this team forever. Even a few mistakes in Game 6 could cost the Western Conference champions greatly.
Even after a strong performance from goaltender Anton Khudobin last time out (39 saves for a .951 save percentage), the 34-year-old has been far from perfect this series (.902 save percentage). The Lightning should be able to find daylight, which could be enough for them to bring home their first title since 2004.
Steven Stamkos might not play, but he could be raising the Stanley Cup before the end of Monday night.
Prediction: Lightning 3, Stars 2