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Stars Trying to Force a Game 7, Lightning Hoping to Win Stanley Cup

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars Game 6 Preview

The Dallas Stars will attempt to stave off elimination yet again in Game 6 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final on Monday when they square off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Stars are underdogs for the 18th straight time going back to the second round of the playoffs.


Tampa Bay Lightning vs Dallas Stars
  • Date/Time: September 28, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Rogers Place
  • TV Coverage: NBC
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -162 | O/U 5 (Line History)
  • Lightning vs Stars Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

There has not been much line movement early on for Game 6, as the first five in this series all closed with Tampa Bay as a favorite between -155 and -165. The total has also landed on the closing number of 5 goals three times while the OVER has cashed twice, with the Lightning winning both of those games. The Bolts have not been extended to a seventh and deciding game in their previous three playoff series this year, though, so their backers might support them late as they try to close out the Stars here.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

Tampa Bay did everything possible to win Game 5 on Saturday but score the winning goal, giving Dallas some life and confidence heading into Game 6. The Lightning did the same thing with the New York Islanders in the previous round, taking a 3-1 series lead before losing Game 5 and then closing out their opponent in Game 6.

That experience should help them in this spot, knowing a lucky bounce of the puck here or there could be the difference between hoisting the Cup or playing in their first elimination game of the postseason.

Tampa Bay will be without captain Steven Stamkos for the rest of the series after he made a very brief but effective appearance in Game 3, scoring a goal on his first shot in less than three minutes of ice time.

Stamkos seemed to inspire his team to victory then, and now his teammates can rally around the fact that he will not be back and try to win the Cup for him. The Lightning still have plenty of offensive firepower without Stamkos.

Dallas News & Notes

The Stars survived a tough two-day stretch of playing back-to-back games and stayed alive by splitting the pair, something many thought was unlikely after they suffered a disappointing 5-4 overtime loss in Game 4 on Friday.

They felt they were victims of a controversial penalty in OT and gave up the game-winner on the power play Friday, then recovered nicely to win in double OT the following night. Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin made 39 saves in Game 5, showing again why he was one of the favorites for the Conn Smythe Trophy given to the postseason’s top performer.

Khudobin might be able to take the award too if he can find a way to lead his team to wins in two more games, which would obviously mean they are Stanley Cup champions. Veterans Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry were brought in as free agents last offseason to help the Stars in moments like this, and they have certainly delivered as well.

Pavelski is tied with Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point for the most goals in the playoffs with 13, and Perry has scored three in the last two games, including the first and the double-OT game-winner on Saturday.

Betting Pick: Stars +155

The Lightning could very well win the Cup on Monday or Wednesday, but the underdog payout on the Stars is too tempting to pass up in Game 6. Dallas undoubtedly has some momentum and simply needs Khudobin to hold Tampa Bay in check offensively. He was able to do it in Game 1 and again in Game 5 with a couple stinkers in between. The Stars are a tough out and will prove exactly that in pulling off another upset to force a Game 7.


Shark Bites
  • The Lightning are 12-4 in their last 16 games as favorites.
  • The Lightning are 8-4 in their past 12 meetings with the Stars.
  • The Stars are 10-7 in 17 consecutive games as underdogs.