Nontraditional Stanley Cup Final begins

The Dallas Stars face Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in hockey.



September 18, 2020 - 4:10 PM

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates the series win against the New York Islanders in the first overtime period in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference on Thursday, Sept. 17. Photo by (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/TNS)

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The leaves are starting to change color around the NHL playoff bubble, and, at most, seven games remain before the Stanley Cup is handed out.

On Saturday night, two of the league’s southernmost teams begin a Stanley Cup Final like none other in the great white north when the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning face off in Game 1. The Texas and Florida heat that would have been around in late May and June has been replaced by a chill in the air with teams from nontraditional markets vying for hockey’s biggest prize in the northernmost city in the NHL.

“We don’t know what the temperature is outside because we’re never outside, so it doesn’t come into play,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said from the confines of the bubble. “We’re 75, 80 degrees here all the time, so it’s perfect — perfect environment.”

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