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NHL Short Notes

NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Final Edition – Sept. 25, 2020


* Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final goes tonight when the Lightning and Stars clash in the first half of a rare back-to-back set. Tampa Bay looks to move within one win of claiming its second championship in franchise history (also 2004).

* Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov reached the 30-point mark in Game 3 and maintained his two-point edge on teammate Brayden Point for the League lead this postseason.

Miro Heiskanen of the Stars, who scored the last goal of Game 3, needs one point to become the sixth defenseman in NHL history with 25 or more in a postseason.

The first back-to-back set in the Stanley Cup Final in more than a decade opens tonight when Dallas looks to even its series with Tampa Bay.


* With Game 5 set for Saturday, it will mark the second Final in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to feature games on consecutive days. The only other instance over that span occurred in 2009, when the Penguins and Red Wings played Game 1 on May 30 and Game 2 on May 31. Detroit won both contests by a 3-1 score, on home ice at Joe Louis Arena. 

* Teams that hold a 2-1 series lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final (since 1939) own an all-time series record of 42-11 (.793). Three of the last five Cup winners held a 2-1 series lead in the Final (PIT in 2016 & 2017, WSH in 2018) – Chicago and St. Louis rallied to claim the championship after dropping two of the first three games in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

* Teams up 2-1 in any best-of-seven series own an all-time series record of 361-154 (.701), including an 11-1 mark in 2020. Dallas is the only club to overcome a 2-1 series deficit to win this year – it reeled off three consecutive wins to rally past Calgary in the First Round. 

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov had 1-1—2 in Game 3 to increase his League-leading point total to 7-23—30 (22 GP), with 28 of those points coming since Game 1 of the First Round against Columbus (6-22—28 in 19 GP). Kucherov owns a two-point edge over teammate Brayden Point (11-17—28 in 20 GP), who also had 1-1—2 on Wednesday including his NHL-best 11th goal of these playoffs.

* There have been seven instances in League history of teammates each recording 30 or more points in the same playoff year, with six of those seven clubs winning the Cup. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are the only combo to do so in the last 25 years – they had 36 and 31 points, respectively, en route to their first championship in 2009.


Four of the last 10 players with 30-plus points in a postseason hail from Russia, with Canucks forward Pavel Bure (16-15—31 in 24 GP) and Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov (12-20—32 in 24 GP) achieving the feat in 1994 and 2018, respectively, in addition to Kucherov in 2020 and Malkin in 2009. They are the only Russian players in League history to reach the 30-point mark in a playoff year.


Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen scored in Game 3 to record his 24th point this postseason (6-18—24 in 24 GP). He needs one point to become the sixth defenseman in NHL history with 25 or more in a playoff year – each of the five who have reached the mark are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the 100 Greatest NHL Players list.

* Heiskanen now owns the most goalsassists and points in a playoff year by a Stars/North Stars defenseman. His goal in Game 3 placed him ahead of teammate Jamie Oleksiak (5-3—8 in 24 GP), Brad Maxwell (1983), Craig Hartsburg (1985) and Mark Tinordi (1991).

* Only four skaters in franchise history have recorded 25 or more points in a playoff year. Heiskanen is also one assist shy of matching the Stars/North Stars record for most in a postseason, a mark set by Brian Bellows in 1991 (19 A in 23 GP).


NHL announces protocol for off-season training
Lynn Olson to receive Lester Patrick Trophy
Steven Stamkos' brief stint enough to inspire Lightning in Game 3 win
Bob GaineyPhil Esposito celebrate legacies with Stars, Lightning in Cup Final
Stars 'not going to panic' after Game 3 loss in Cup Final

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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