Stanley Cup Preview and Prediction: Lightning in 7

Sam Schiffman '21, Lead Sports Editor

With game one of the Stanley Cup Finals going to the Dallas Stars in a 4 to 1 bout, we are set up for what should be an exciting next couple games. Both teams have showed dominance throughout the playoffs with their elite offenses. The Lightning led by Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov have been impressive with their goalscoring, putting up 8 goal games on multiple occasions, one of those being against the Bruins (It’s ok though we will be back next year). That said it is going to be tough to put up these numbers against the hottest goalie in the league, Anton Khudobin.

Khudobin who has put up a .923 save percentage has been a brick wall for the Stars in light of their starting goalie Ben Bishop getting injured. Although Khudobin only has one shutout in these playoffs, the stars would not be in the cup final up one game without his work. The Stars have also relied on the play of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin to get their offense going. Along with the key veteran roles Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry are playing it begs the question, do the Stars have what it takes to bring the cup back home to Dallas?

With the Lightning down one game, the door is definitely open for Dallas. However, the Lightning could easily put on an offense masterpiece any game and slam that door shut.

Going into the series the Lightning was my guaranteed pick to win. And even though the Stars have a game cushion, they will need to win this next game in order to assert their dominance onto Tampa Bay.

My prediction for the rest of the series is Lightning in 7, but I can definitely see it going either way. The Stars will need to lock up on defense, and not commit any penalties to prevent the Lightning’s dangerous powerplay onto the ice. With both goalies having a fantastic playoffs so far, it will definitely be a battle for the ages.