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FINAL
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Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Lightning dominate on offense to take 2-1 series lead over Stars

The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the series for the first time in this year's Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars. An offensive explosion in the second period gave Tampa an insurmountable lead that Dallas simply could not do anything about, resulting in a 5-2 win for the Stars.  

But before the Lightning's overwhelming offense sealed things, it was the Stars' sloppy play that got things going for the Eastern Conference representatives. A poor pass gave Nikita Kucherov a one-on-one opportunity at a goal in the first period, which was immediately converted, and another turnover a few minutes later gave returning captain Steven Stamkos a scoring opportunity to make his return to hockey that much more emphatic.

Given that it was still the first period when all of this went down, the Stars quickly gathered themselves and began to fight back. Jason Dickinson eventually scored Dallas' opener of the game, but that happened during a flurry of offense that the Stars tried to put together at the end of the first period. At one point, they doubled their opponents' shots on goal 16-8.

But as soon as the second period rolled around, any semblance of Dallas dominance dissipated. They reverted to their sloppy style of play that got them in trouble early in the first period, and the Lightning, who appear to be more ready than ever for this championship moment, took full advantage. The one goal lead quickly became two, then three and, next thing you knew it, they led 5-1 at the end of the second.

The lead had gotten to the point where Lightning coach Jon Cooper felt no need to bring Stamkos back out onto the ice -- he only amassed 2:47 on the ice for the game. With the win all but wrapped up, Tampa continued the tone set in Game 2 and got physical with their beaten down opponents, as if to add a reminder beyond the scoreboard that they were the dominant ones on Wednesday. Game 4 is set for Friday night in Edmonton, and Dallas 

CBS Sports followed along all of the Game 3 action live and noted all of the highlights, goals and more. Check out the live feed down below for all that information. 

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@TBLightning via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 2:45 AM
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@NHL via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 2:44 AM
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PENALTY! Lightning get the power play after Joe Pavelski hits Jason Dickinson with a cross check. (1:55 3rd period)

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PENALTY! Mikhail Sergachev gets booked for tripping and goes to the box for two minutes. Stars get the power play (7:19 3rd period)

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Alexander Radulov walks to the Stars locker room after taking a nasty spill while trying to get a hit on a Lightning player. He flew head first into the boards and was very slow to get up.

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Penalty coming up against the Lightning. The Stars will get the power play after the TV timeout. Looks like it's Kevin Shattenkirk getting sent to the box. (10:30 3rd period)

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GOAL! Stars 2, Lightning 5

Hey look, Dallas got one back. Good for them. Heiskanen fires it at net and it trickles into the goal after ricocheting off Tampa skates.

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@TBLightning via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 2:18 AM
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Jamie Benn and Jan Rutta get sent to the box for two minutes for roughing. The two were scrapping behind the Stars net as Benn threw a punch to the back of the head of Rutta, and enraged the Stars player. The ref didn't see the punch so they both got penalized (15:50 3rd period)

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PENALTY! Ondrej Palat gets two minutes for roughing, so does Dallas' Janmark. Four-on-four hockey for the next two minutes. (17:02 3rd period)

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It's hard to imagine Stamkos getting more playing time this evening. The lead is comfortable enough for the Lightning that he won't need to take the ice.

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@TBLightning via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 2:06 AM
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@DallasStars via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 2:06 AM
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@TBLightning via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 1:55 AM
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@TBLightning via Twitter
September 24, 2020, 1:54 AM
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End of 2nd: Tampa Bay 5, Dallas 1

Oh my god, the carnage. Stars are going to need an immaculate period to overcome this deficit.

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