STANLEY CUP FINALS
Tampa Bay Lightning (2E) vs. Dallas Stars (3W)
The Dallas Stars defeated the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Semifinals, and the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Finals. This marks the fourth appearance for the Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals; their lone Stanley Cup victory to date was against the Buffalo Sabres in 1999. They last made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2000, when they fell to the New Jersey Devils. Their other two Stanley Cup Finals appearances were in 1981 and 1991, when they were known as the Minnesota North Stars. The Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Finals for the third time in franchise history; in their first appearance in 2004, they defeated the Calgary Flames, while they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. In the playoff rounds so far this year, the Lightning have defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, and New York Islanders. This marks the first ever playoff meeting between the Stars and Lightning. Dallas coach Rick Bowness used to be the assistant coach to Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper; this marks the first time a coach and his former assistant face each other in the Stanley Cup Finals. Dallas and Tampa Bay met each other twice in the regular season; Dallas won both games in overtime.
Prediction: Dallas in seven games.