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Stanley Cup Final, Game 4: Lines, gamethread and how to watch

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No Stamkos? It’s nothing the Lightning haven’t handled before.

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Barclay Goodrow #19 of the Tampa Bay Lightning checks Andrej Sekera #5 of the Dallas Stars into the boards during the first period in Game Three of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on September 23, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In any other year, this would be a can’t-miss Stanley Cup Final, especially after Wednesday’s wild 5-2 tilt. The pressure is on, as a win tonight send Tampa Bay into tomorrow’s back-to-back with a 3-1 series lead. And with Stamkos watching from the press box tonight, that kinda of lead could end with something magical tomorrow — at least if the efficiency of his minutes in Game 3 are any indication.

Here’s what to know and how to watch for Game 4:

In Their Words

From SB Nation’s Raw Charge:

Obviously the legendary return of Steven Stamkos overshadowed a lot of the Bolts’ success last game, but it was obvious that he didn’t return to play at 100%. Whether or not he dresses tonight remains to be seen, but it might be within the Lightning’s best interests to rest him in this game and, if he’s able to, play him tomorrow.

If Stamkos can’t play tonight, we’d likely see Carter Verhaeghe draw back in — Jon Cooper explained that it was more difficult to go 11-7 against a faster team like the Stars, though they managed to successfully do it last game after Stamkos was stapled to the bench.

From SB Nation’s Defending Big D:

In the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning top line is just as lethal, but the Stars find themselves without the core of their top checking line. Turns out, one of the keys to the Dallas system is an ability to put a damper on the opposing top scoring line. Absent that, it’s a track meet, which may work against a Colorado team with defensive holes, but against a Lightning team with three solid defensive pairs, it’s a losing proposition.

Andrew Cogliano just isn’t enough to build a checking line around. Jason Dickinson can fill in as Radek Faksa in a pinch, but only if you have a reliable Blake Comeau on the right wing.

Lines

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (via NHL.com)

Ondrej PalatBrayden PointNikita Kucherov
Alex KillornAnthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson
Barclay GoodrowYanni GourdeBlake Coleman
Pat MaroonCedric Paquette — Carter Verhaeghe

Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonaghKevin Shattenkirk
Mikhail Sergachev — Erik Cernak

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Expected Scratches: Mathieu Joseph, Mitchell Stephens, Alexander Volkov, Braydon Coburn, Scott Wedgewood, Luke Schenn, Zach Bogosian

Unfit to Play: Steven Stamkos

DALLAS STARS (via NHL.com)

Jamie BennTyler SeguinAlexander Radulov
Mattias JanmarkJoe PavelskiDenis Gurianov
Joel KivirantaRoope HintzCorey Perry
Andrew Cogliano — Jason DickinsonNick Caamano

Esa LindellJohn Klingberg
Jamie OleksiakMiro Heiskanen
Andrej SekeraJoel Hanley

Anton Khudobin
Jake Oettinger

Expected Scratches: Ty Dellandrea, Jason Robertson, Gavin Bayreuther, Thomas Harley, Landon Bow, Justin Dowling, Taylor Fedun

Unfit to Play: Stephen Johns, Ben Bishop, Radek Faksa, Blake Comeau

How to Watch

Puck Drop: 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET

Location: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB

Broadcast/Streaming: NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS, FuboTV

Series Schedule

Game 1: Stars 4, Lightning 1
Game 2: Stars 2, Lightning 3
Game 3: Lightning 5, Stars 2
Game 4: Friday, Sept. 25, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 5: Saturday, Sept. 26, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 6: Monday, Sept. 28, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
Game 7: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET