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What you need to know about COVID-19: October 9, 2020
It’s one and done for Steven Stamkos.
The Tampa Bay Lightning captain who willed himself to play in Game 3, scoring on his only shot and playing five shifts before sitting on the bench the rest of it, is back to being a cheerleader.
“To be blunt, Stammer is done for the series and next time we see him on the ice, it’s during the trophy presentation,” said Tampa coach Jon Cooper, whose club is up 3-2 over the Dallas Stars.
The last NHL team captain to get the Cup in his hands but not play in the clinching game was Detroit defenceman Doug Young in 1937. The Medicine Hat-born Young was hurt for most of the season with Ebbie Goodfellow as acting captain that year.
While Stamkos had core-muscle surgery in early March, he had a setback before Phase 3 training camp and when he played in Game 3, it seems he was being held together by bailing wire, duct tape and a big heart. Nobody’s saying what’s exactly wrong with the forward, but Cooper and Stamkos spoke Sunday morning and he was officially ruled out.
“He gamed it out. To be honest, I didn’t think he was playing at all in these playoffs. He gave us 2:47 of brilliant hockey, scored a goal in a win, a phenomenal story,” said Cooper.
A LEG AND A PRAYER
When Andrej Sekera took a shot off the inside of the right knee from Mikhail Sergachev in Saturday’s first period, it looked like he was done for the night. But he showed up back for the third and the overtimes in Game 6.
“How big was that needle that Sekera took to come back?” Dallas coach Rick Bowness was asked, guffawing as he tried to answer. “He, uh, needed a little time to settle things down.”
He’ll be a game-time call for Game 6, with Taylor Fedun in if he can’t go.
“Andrej’s a tough competitor, plays with so much heart. He left his family (in Slovakia) around June 25, his boy, Marko, and wife, Katarina, so he’s had a lot of sacrifices,” said Bowness.
HURRY UP AND WAIT
Dallas forward Justin Dowling had dressed in the pre-game warmup 17 times before getting his first shot in Game 5 for the injured Roope Hintz. Dowling played 17 minutes and was on the second power-play unit. His wife, Meg, and five-month-old daughter, Perri, are with him in the bubble, cheering inside Rogers Place.
“Definitely a weird time to have your first child during a pandemic. Everybody was wearing masks in the first pictures with the family. When she gets older, it’ll be a unique story to tell her, to say her early days were spent inside a bubble,” said Dowling, who’s routine has changed since their arrival.
“Changing diapers. She sleeps like a rock, more than I do. I was up before she was today.”
USED TO HATE YOU, BUT …
Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry, who have scored the last six goals for Dallas, all within 10 feet of the net, had countless angry California scuffles when Pavelski was playing in San Jose and Perry had his disturber-game on full throttle in Anaheim.
But they’re best buds now that they’re teammates.
Perry was signed to a $1.5 million salary after being bought out by the Ducks and could get $3.25 million with performance bonuses, which is what Dallas general manager Jim Nill saved when he dealt Tyler Pitlick to Philadelphia and bought out Valeri Nichushkin last summer to sign Perry. Pavelski got $21 million over three years as a free agent.
“A couple of games before the finals, I looked up at the screen and started laughing, thinking I was in the playoffs with Corey Perry. It’s fun to be on the same side,” said Pavelski.
They were both drafted in 2003: Perry at 28th; Pavelski an after-thought at 205.
Perry’s played 1,045 games with 797 points, 377 goals.
Pavelski’s played 1,030 games with 792 points, 369 goals.
Only 10 players from that starry 2003 draft have played more than Pavelski, nine of of them first-rounders and Patrice Bergeron going No. 45, in Round 2. Eric Staal (1,240) has most games from that draft year. Dustin Brown (1,183) and Ryan Suter (1,142) are 2-3.
This ’n’ that: The key to the Dallas win in Game 6? They only took one minor penalty, a high-stick by Tyler Seguin, keeping Tampa’s powerhouse power-play silent. Tampa took two infractions. “I thought the officials did a great job letting both teams play and didn’t get in the way of an incredible hockey game,” said Bowness … Pavelski had 14 regular-season goals and has 13 in the playoffs. Perry had five in league play and has five in the post-season … Pavelski is best U.S. born playoff scorer with 61 goals, one more than Joe Mullen. Mike Modano (58), Jeremy Roenick (53) and Patrick Kane (52) are in the top five … Dallas defenceman Esa Lindell played more than any other player (66:53) in Games 4 and 5, which both went to OT. He played more than Victor Hedman (64:30) … No doubt, Tampa’s the winner in the Mikhail Sergachev-Jonathan Drouin Montreal trade in 2017. “Sergy gets accolades for his offensive play, but he’s got a big frame and he can be in a battle and not be manhandled by any player,” said Cooper … The Dallas coaching staff has been up close, in the Edmonton J.W. Marriott since July 26. “Together nine weeks now and no fistfights,” laughed Bowness. “That’s a good thing.”
On Twitter: @jimmathesonnhl
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