By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final was easily the most entertaining with a lot of back-and-forth action and a lot of scoring. The most entertaining game of the Stanley Cup Final thus far was also the most controversial.
Both teams received power plays in overtime, but it was a call made at the end of regulation and another on Stars captain Jamie Benn in overtime that caused the most talk, leading to the game-winning goal from Kevin Shattenkirk that gave the Lightning a 5-4 win and a 3-1 series lead on Friday night.
The Lightning got off to a fast start in the shots column, but the Stars had command where it counted. John Klingberg scored on the Stars’ first shot of the game at 7:17 to make it 1-0.
With 1:32 remaining in the period, the Stars struck again, getting a two-on-one with Benn setting up Joe Pavelski for his 11th goal of the playoffs to make it 2-0.
Just 59 seconds later, in the final minute of the period, the Lightning had an answer. Brayden Point got in alone behind the Dallas defense and scored on a breakaway with 33 seconds remaining to make it a 2-1 game.
Early in the second, Point struck again for his second goal of the game on the power-play, being on the spot to knock a puck out of mid-air at the front of the net to tie the game at two.
The Stars came back with the next goal, as Tyler Seguin’s effort on the rush were negated but a loose puck in the crease was poked home by Corey Perry to make it 3-2 Dallas.
Late in the period, the Lightning had another power play and once again took advantage. A centering pass from Nikita Kucherov was blocked by Esa Lindell and right to the tape of Yanni Gourde, who knocked home the rebound to tie the game at three with 1:06 remaining in the period.
At 6:41 of the third, the Lightning grabbed their first lead of the game, as Alex Killorn fired a turnaround shot that beat Anton Khudobin up high to give Tampa Bay the 4-3 lead.
With just over eight minutes to go in the third, the Stars found the equalizer. A Pavelski shot toward the net rattled around and banked in off the pad of Shattenkirk to tie the game back up at four.
At the close of regulation, a pair of penalties were called as Perry’s stick connected between the legs of Point. As Point hit the ice in pain, officials called Perry for interference, but also pulled Point to the box for embellishment.
Early in overtime, Dallas got a 4-on-3 power play as Mikhail Sergechev went to the box for holding just 37 seconds into overtime.
Less than five minutes later, after killing off the penalty, the Lightning were on the power play for a tripping call on Benn as he and Tyler Johnson both went down in battle.
That was where Shattenkirk was able to end the game, firing a shot to the far post and in for his third goal of the playoffs.
Andrei Vasilevskiy finished the game with 26 saves on 30 shots. Khudobin stopped 30 of 35 shots in the loss.
The Lightning had multi-point games from five players. Point had a pair of goals. Killorn and Shattenkirk each had a goal and an assist. Kucherov and Sergechev each had two assists. For Dallas, Pavelski had the two-goal night and Seguin had a pair of assists.
The Lightning are now one win away from claiming their second Stanley Cup in franchise history and can do it as soon as Saturday night when the teams meet again for Game 5 at 8 p.m.