Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020


Tampa Bay Lightning Defeat Dallas Stars 5-2 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

“Right out of a storybook…First game. First shot. First goal.” – Doc Emrick on Steven Stamkos

“(The Stars) weren’t able to capitalize when they had the momentum. When you have it, you’ve got to do something with it.” – Eddie Olczyk

Games 4 and 5 – Friday and Saturday Night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC

STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 23, 2020 – NBC Sports continued its exclusive presentation of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final tonight with Game 3 between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on NBCSN. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos returned from injury for his first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and scored in the first period, as Tampa Bay defeated Dallas 5-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. All Stanley Cup Final games are being played at Rogers Place.

Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Brian Boucher called the game along with Pierre McGuire providing reports and player interviews. Olczyk, Boucher and McGuire were on site at Rogers Place, while Emrick called the action from a home studio. Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp provided studio commentary during intermissions from NBC Sports’ headquarters in Stamford, Conn. John Forslund also provided commentary from Rogers Place during pre-game coverage.

Following are notes and quotes from Game 3:


Emrick on Tampa Bay C Steven Stamkos’ goal, 2-0 Lightning: “My goodness, right out of a storybook.”

Boucher: “He was shot out of a cannon – the shot was a cannon as well.”

Emrick: “In their greatest dreams, Lightning fans could not have conceived this. Or maybe they could have (laughter).”

Emrick: “First game. First shot. First goal.”

Olczyk on C Jason Dickinson’s short-handed goal for Dallas, 2-1 Lightning: “Talking about another goaltender off of his angle here. Lots of room on the short side.”

Boucher: “I don’t know where (Andrei) Vasilevskiy was going. He didn’t locate (Jason) Dickinson. I think he was figuring that pass was going somewhere else, more to the middle of the ice. He was in the middle of the net. He was nowhere near his angle on that play.”

Boucher on RW Nikita Kucherov’s breakaway goal, 1-0 Lightning: “The turnover by the youngster, Miro Heiskanen – and he put it on the wrong guy’s tape…he loses his footing and when he does that, he puts it right on Kucherov’s tape.”


Emrick: “Inspired by the return of their captain, they have taken a lead in the series, two games to one…they have talked during these playoffs about how (Steven) Stamkos had inspired them just by being in the dressing room in civilian clothes, and then how it was so much fun to see him on the ice in skates in practice. But now, on the ice in skates – though briefly – scoring a goal on his first shot.”

Sharp: “It was the depth of Tampa Bay in this one. They looked like a complete team with their captain back, all four lines contributed…tough team to beat right now.”

Jones: “What impresses me the most is the way they reacted when (Steven) Stamkos could no longer participate in the game. He obviously was a big factor in the first period, scored the goal, but that can deflate a team when a guy’s unavailable when the second period rolls around…their depth really came to the forefront and their star players were outstanding.”


Olczyk on importance of capitalizing on momentum: “(The Stars) weren’t able to capitalize when they had the momentum. When you have it, you’ve got to do something with it. You saw it in the second period when Tampa had all of the momentum and put a crooked number on the board.”

Boucher on Stamkos: “The excitement that he brought to his team and then after not playing, it’s about the leadership…only two minutes and 47 seconds played, but he’s had an effect on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a positive manner in this hockey game.”

Boucher on D Miro Heiskanen’s goal, 5-2 Lightning: “This puck bounced around on Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Dallas Stars were able to put it home…an unfortunate bounce for the Tampa Bay goaltender.”


Carter on Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman: “If the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t have Victor Hedman on their team, I don’t know where they’d be. Yes, they’ve had guys elevate their game with no Steven Stamkos, but without No. 77, the Lightning would be in trouble.”


Olczyk on Tampa Bay D Victor Hedman’s power play goal, 3-1 Lightning: “That quick little wrister, cool number 10 (goals scored), he is in some rare air when it comes to playoff performances for defensemen scoring goals.”

Olczyk on Lightning C Brayden Point’s goal, 4-1 Lightning: “Just a terrible change here by the Dallas Stars…in the second period, you’ve got to make sure. The turnover and look at all of the players going off of the ice – it’s a 3-on-1.”

Boucher on Lightning LW Ondrej Palat’s goal, 5-1 Lightning: “A long shift for the Dallas defensemen. Out there for more than a minute and forty seconds. Not able to get the clear, several opportunities for Tampa Bay, they throw it to the net, doesn’t connect with (Ondrej) Palat on the back door, but then it goes back to Palat and you can see how tired (Esa) Lindell was, not able to recover…as the onslaught continues for Tampa Bay here in this second period.”


Jones on Stamkos: “It’s mind-boggling what great players are capable of doing…no rust on Stamkos, an outstanding start to this game for the Lightning captain…he does what Steven Stamkos does best, an outstanding goal.”

Carter on impact of Tampa Bay’s physical play: “Those hits eventually take their toll on the opposition…it forces the Dallas Stars defensemen to move the puck prematurely, before they’re ready to move the puck…(Miro Heiskanen) makes an uncharacteristic turnover. It’s all about the physical play and the hits that are paying off for the Tampa Bay Lightning.”


Boucher on the return of Stamkos: “You get an addition like this, it just gives you an emotional boost to have your captain in the lineup. You’ve got to make sure you don’t have a letdown because he’s put on his uniform.”

Olczyk on Dallas’ approach to facing Stamkos: “You want to welcome him to the Stanley Cup Final. You want to challenge him, you want to be in his face, you want to take away time and space because he is a world-class player. You want to make life really miserable for him.”

Jones on Tampa Bay: “Tampa has proven that they can take the hits and stay disciplined at the same time…but not just take the hits, but play aggressively as well.”

Jones on Dallas C Tyler Seguin: “He’s one of the leaders on the Dallas Stars…he’s got to be feeling the pressure of not scoring, but it hasn’t leaked into other parts of his game…if he scores, he’s going to score again. That’s one thing Tampa has to be careful of…that’s a big part of a series. When star players score, there’s usually a couple goals that follow shortly.”

Sharp on Dallas D Jamie Oleksiak: “I’ve seen this skill level from him from the day he entered the league. I got the chance to play with him…he always works on his skills after practice, he’s as talented as anyone on the roster, seems like he has confidence now, knows when to jump in the rush and it’s paying off big time for the Dallas Stars.”

Sharp on Dallas: “No team uses more hair product than the Dallas Stars. In pre-game warmups, Jamie Benn leads the way, but (Tyler) Seguin is never putting a helmet on.”

Carter on sacrifices players have made since returning to play: “It’s a big-time sacrifice. That’s why I said winning the championship this year is probably the hardest in NHL history because guys are away from their families for so long. I’m not playing in the NHL right now, but I’ve been away for two months. Thank goodness for FaceTime. Family is so important to hockey players.”