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2020 Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 Review

2020 Stanley Cup Finals

2020 Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 – September 20, 2020


Anton Khudobin turned aside 35 of 36 shots against, including all 22 in the third period, as Dallas took the Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 with a 4-1 win.

* Khudobin improved to 13-6 in 20 appearances this postseason (2.54 GAA, .923 SV%, 1 SO), including wins in each of his last four. Only two goaltenders in franchise history have recorded more than 13 wins in a playoff year: Ed Belfour (16-7 in 1999 & 14-9 in 2000) as well as Jon Casey (14-7 in 1991).

* Khudobin improved to 9-1 when making 30 or more saves this postseason. Only seven other goaltenders have recorded at least nine 30-save wins in a single postseason (since 1955-56 when the statistic was officially tracked), listed with their records in such contests: Tim Thomas (14-3 in 2011), Kirk McLean (10-4 in 1994), Marc-Andre Fleury (9-2 in 2018), Corey Crawford (9-0 in 2015), Dwayne Roloson (9-3 in 2006), Olie Kolzig (9-5 in 1998) and Patrick Roy (9-3 in 1993).

* Khudobin’s 22 saves over the final 20 minutes were the most by a goaltender in any period of a Stanley Cup Final game during the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68). He became the third goaltender in the expansion era to make 22 saves in the third period of any postseason contest without allowing a goal, following Thomas in Game 2 of the 2011 Conference Semifinals and Thatcher Demko earlier this month in Game 6 of the 2020 Second Round.


Four and a half years after making his League debut with Montreal on March 20, 2016, Dallas defenseman Joel Hanley opened the scoring at 5:40 of the first period with the first goal of his NHL career. He became the 10th player – and fifth defenseman – over the last 93 years to score his first career NHL goal in the Stanley Cup Final (regular season or playoffs). That dates to the 1927 Final, the first after the League took over sole control of the Stanley Cup competition.

* Jamie Oleksiak (5-3—8 in 22 GP) scored the winner to become the second Stars defenseman with five goals this postseason, joining Miro Heiskanen (5-18—23 in 22 GP) who assisted on his tally. Dallas features multiple defensemen each with five goals in a playoff year for the first time in franchise history.

* Stars defensemen combined for 2-3—5 in Game 1, with John Klingberg (0-1—1) and Esa Lindell (0-1—1) also finding the score sheet in addition to Hanley, Oleksiak and Heiskanen. Dallas blueliners accounted for multiple goals in a Stanley Cup Final contest for the second time in franchise history (also Game 2 of 1999 SCF) and five points for the third time (also Game 4 of 1981 SCF & Game 2 of 1999 SCF).

* The Stars lead all teams in combined goals, assists and points by defensemen this postseason (15-43—58 in 22 GP). Dallas’ 15 goals and 58 points match the highest such totals by a team during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Boston blueliners had 15 goals last year (15-35—50 in 24 GP), while St. Louis defensemen had 58 points (11-47—58 in 26 GP).

* There have been only 10 instances in NHL history of a team with more than 58 points by defensemen in a postseason, including only two over the last 23 years: Los Angeles in 2014 (19-40—59 in 26 GP) and Detroit in 2009 (16-44—60 in 23 GP). That list does not include the 2010 Blackhawks, which received 16 points from Dustin Byfuglien (11-5—16 in 22 GP) – who was listed as a forward for that entire postseason – and 47 combined points from their blueliners (9-38—47 in 22 GP).


Stars rookie Joel Kiviranta, whose five career playoff points entering Game 1 were all recorded in series-clinching wins (4-1—5 in 3 GP), scored in the final minute of the second period to give Dallas a 3-1 lead. He became the sixth Stars/North Stars rookie to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final, joining Dino Ciccarelli (3-2—5 in 5 GP), Steve Christoff (2-2—4 in 5 GP) and Brad Palmer (1-0—1 in 5 GP) in 1981, Marc Bureau in 1991 (1-0—1 in 6 GP) and Jon Sim in 2000 (1-0—1 in 6 GP).

* Kiviranta (5-1—6 in 9 GP) became the second Stars rookie to record five goals this postseason, joining Denis Gurianov (9-8—17 in 22 GP). Dallas is the first team to feature multiple rookies each with five or more goals in a playoff year since 2000, when Simon Gagne (5-5—10 in 17 GP) and Andy Delmore (5-2—7 in 18 GP) combined for the feat with Philadelphia.

* Kiviranta has five career playoff goals and one career regular-season goal (1-0—1 in 11 GP). He became the third player since 1926-27 when the NHL took over sole control of the Stanley Cup competition to score his fifth playoff goal before his second regular-season goal, joining Darren Helm in 2009 (w/ DET) and Chris Kreider in 2012 (w/ NYR).

* Dallas outscored Tampa Bay 1-0 in the third period despite being outshot by a 22-2 margin. The Stars became the first team in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to outscore an opponent in a period of any postseason contest despite being outshot by a margin of at least 20.

* The Lightning’s 22 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes were the most by a team in any period of a Stanley Cup Final game during the expansion era.

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