Radulov, Pavelski 2 goals as Stars beat Preds 7-0 in opener
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)DALLAS – Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists and Alexander Radulov also scored twice, helping Dallas beat the Nashville Predators 7-0 on Friday night in the Stars' delayed season opener. Five of Dallas' goals came in the second period, including three power-play goals and an unassisted short-handed wrist shot by Esa Lindell. Pavelski and Kiviranta added power-play goals in the third period, those against Pekka Rinne, who entered after Saros allowed five goals on 20 shots. CAPTAIN HURTStars captain Jamie Benn was injured when his right leg buckled awkwardly after a collision with Viktor Arvidsson in the second period. Three of the shots game in the first period, including a wraparound attempt into Khudobin’s pads and a hard second shot on the rebound.
Stars finally set for delayed opener after COVID positives
The Stars' return comes after 17 players tested positive for COVID-19, even though most were asymptomatic. Their first four scheduled games, all on the road and including an early Stanley Cup Final rematch with Tampa Bay, were postponed. “Right now, listen, we're all ready for a game,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said after practice Thursday at their home arena. Now the Stars are the last team to open the NHL's 56-game, division-only regular season. About 5,000 fans will be allowed for Stars games, well below the hockey capacity of 18,532, though the NBA's Dallas Mavericks are playing their home games there without fans.
Bubble hockey champions: Tampa Bay Lightning win Stanley Cup
The triumph of winning the NHL championship in a bubble was certainly no less sweet for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He played 964 regular-season and 137 playoff games to get to this point, losing in the final twice before. Tampa Bay had Point and No. Coach Jon Cooper thought the attitude needed to change from wanting to beat every opponent 9-0 because that’s not realistic in playoff hockey. ... Alexander Volkov made his NHL playoff debut for Tampa Bay, which also saw Patrick Maroon become just the eighth player to win the Cup in back-to-back seasons with different teams (St. Louis).