After a much-needed off day, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars will hit the ice at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, on Monday night for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The teams played nine periods in a two-day span, including a double overtime Game 5 the Stars won to keep the series alive Saturday. With the back-to-back games behind them, Dallas now has to find a way to force Game 7 against a Lightning side that has found the back of the net at will since Game 2.
In the past two games, the Stars have been able to go head-to-head with the Lightning's dynamic offense, but there is still a chance Tampa Bay takes over from the start to close out the series Monday.
Stanley Cup Final Game 6 Information
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCSports.com or NBC Sports app
Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook): Tampa Bay: -162 (wager $162 to win $100); Dallas: +140 (wager $100 to win $140); Over/Under: 5
Dallas 4, Tampa Bay 3
Dallas' edge starts in net with Anton Khudobin, who rediscovered his form by making 39 saves on 41 shots in the Game 5 victory.
In the two games prior to Saturday, Khudobin recorded a save percentage under .900 and conceded 10 goals. Dallas' three previous series saw the netminder allow five goals on one occasion. If he extends his Game 5 performance into Game 6, the Stars should be able to slow down Tampa Bay's attack.
What Dallas must avoid is the concession of an early goal to Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman & Co. In Tampa Bay's Game 3 victory, it scored five of the game's first six goals. Kucherov, Point and Hedman played a hand in each of the tallies.
Kucherov, Hedman and Ondrej Palat have taken the most shots on goal in the series and have combined for 13 points. Point, meanwhile, owns four goals and three assists with 12 attempts on target.
If Dallas can at least slow down the production of Tampa Bay's top forwards, it can work its way into the game without playing from behind. The key for the Stars will be to keep Tampa Bay's shot total low to take some pressure off Khudobin in the opening stages. The Lightning have outshot the Stars 175-136 through five games.
As they were in Games 4 and 5, Dallas' veterans could be the difference-makers. Corey Perry deposited a pair of goals in Game 5, including the game-winner, while Joe Pavelski netted a pair in Game 4.
In total, Perry and Pavelski have combined for six goals and 12 shots in the past two games. If they continue to produce at a high rate, they may cancel out the contributions of Tampa Bay's attacking stars.
If Dallas needs an X-factor to emerge alongside Pavelski and Perry, it could be John Klingberg, who has a goal and four assists in the series.
The defenseman is in possession of 17 postseason assists and could be a huge factor if he sends in pucks from the point for deflections or to challenge Andrei Vasilevskiy. Klingberg could also play a massive role in shutting down Tampa Bay's offensive rushes. If he does that successfully, the Lightning could be neutralized.