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Lightning’s Alex Killorn gets a little of his scoring mojo back

Killorn notches his fifth goal of the postseason and first in 10 games to help the Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Dallas.
Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a third-period goal against the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final on Friday night in Edmonton.
Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a third-period goal against the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final on Friday night in Edmonton. [ MARKO DITKUN | Special to the Times ]
Published Sep. 26, 2020

EDMONTON — Sometimes you just have to shoot the puck on the net.

It wasn’t a goal that Alex Killorn may have expected to score when he let it rip, but he’ll certainly take it.

After tallying 26 in the regular season, goals have been hard to come by for the veteran forward in the playoffs — but he has kept working and he got rewarded.

Killorn was in the midst of his longest goal drought of the season, but the eight-year veteran scored his fifth of the postseason and first in 10 games to help the Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars as they took a commanding 3-1 series lead and are just one win from a Stanley Cup.

Killorn gave Tampa a 4-3 lead at the 6:41 mark of the third period when he walked out from behind the net, spun around and fired a quick shot on Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin that seemed to have eyes for the back of the net.

His two-point effort made him the eighth player in Lightning franchise history to record 50 career playoff points.

“I probably haven’t scored as much as I’d like, but when your teammates are scoring every other night, you tend to not worry about those things, but getting that one tonight felt really good,” said Killorn, who scored his first goal since a two-goal effort in Game 3 vs. Boston on Aug.26.

The Lightning again were led by their top line as Brayden Point scored twice to tie Tyler Johnson for most postseason goals, but Tampa Bay’s depth continues to be a strong point to their success in the playoffs.

Players like Killorn and Anthony Cirelli, and their checking line of Yanni Gourde, Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow , have done an incredible job shutting down the opposition’s top lines.

They did it in the Eastern Conference final against the New York Islanders, in the second round against the Boston Bruins and they have continued to do it in the Cup final against Dallas.

The Stars' top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov was having so much trouble finding any offense, Stars coach Rick Bowness broke the trio up. While all three enjoyed their best game of the series, recording three assists in Game 4, the trio has yet to score a goal in this series and have been held to just six assists.

Dallas' stars have combined for 26 percent of the team’s goals in the playoffs, but they’ve come up empty in this series.

Players like Killorn and Gourde, whose job is to shut down the big guns of the Stars, each scored in Game 4.

“Of course you want to get on the scoresheet, but at the same time we want to play our game. We want to win games … that’s the ultimate goal,” said Gourde, whose late second-period marker tied the score at 3-3.

The Lighting’s top line has done a lot of heavy lifting in these playoffs, but the team seems to be getting those timely contributions from other sources when they need them most.

Killorn and Gourde provided some offense and Cirelli led the team with 10 hits, while Coleman and Goodrow did what they did best,combining for 13 hits.

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The Lightning’s offense was feeling it all throughout the lineup in the victory.

The goals from Gourde and Killorn were the first goals, outside of Steven Stamkos' heroics in Game 3, that came from a forward not on their top line.

“I thought that the whole line of Cirelli, Killer and Johnson was outstanding tonight,” coach Jon Cooper said.

“I know Pointer’s line gets lots of accolades, but whether it was Killer’s goal or it was Cirelli on the PK, it was outstanding. They keep working hard and they got rewarded.”

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