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RTP Daily, Sept. 19th: The Beginning of the End

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We started with 24 and we’re down to the final pair. After a long haul in the bubble, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars kick off the Stanley Cup Finals tonight in Edmonton.

NHL: JAN 15 Lightning at Stars Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It took extra time but the Tampa Bay Lightning punched their ticket to the big dance on Thursday night as they took down the New York Islanders two goals to one. Now they have a chance to fully redeem themselves for their embarrassing sweep last season, eyeing the ultimate prize: a date with Lord Stanley.

On the other bench await the well rested Dallas Stars. Having already paid cover for Club Stanley back on Monday, the Stars have been sitting semi-patiently, standing by, wondering whether they’d face Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the pesky Isles or Nikita Kucherov and the high flying Lightning.

As excellent Ottawa Senators trade target Anthony Cirelli iced the cake for Tampa Bay on Thursday, you have to think there was at least a small feeling of disappointment at the Stars viewing party. Not because they don’t have a belief in their dressing room that they can take home the big prize, but because you have to think the Lightning pose more of a threat to their chances at lifting the Cup than the Islanders would have. After all, the two leading scorers and top goaltender in these playoffs will be wearing blue and white tonight.

The Stars have incredible stories of their own, though. Rookie pivot Miro Heiskanen is nipping at the heels of both Kucherov and Brayden Point for the scoring race while Anton Khudobin has been rock solid between the pipes. I’m sure the bracket predictions which contained the Stars in the Finals are few and far between, but you can’t deny that they’ve played a particularly impressive brand of hockey over the past six weeks.

Tonight’s Game

Dallas Stars @ Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30PM EST

This is it. One last series before the players can head home and see their families. Over twelve months after training camp started, we finally get to find out who’s going to the hoist the Stanley Cup.

So, who do you got?

Poll

Who will be hoisting the Cup this year?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Dallas Stars
    (24 votes)
  • 58%
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    (34 votes)
58 votes total Vote Now