An early 3-0 lead for the Tampa Bay Lightning was all it took to put the Stanley Cup Final into overdrive, as the Stars spent the final 40 minutes of Game 2 furiously putting pucks on net in an attempt to draw even. They fell just short, but in doing so they helped give some real sharp edges to this series between unfamiliar opponents.
As normal as it’s become to watch games with no crowd, there’s undeniably a level of intensity that gets lost when all the noise in an arena is fake. But once the Stars were forced to chase the game on Monday night, their battle with Tampa suddenly felt like a legit struggle for the championship, with all the pain and sweat and nasty feelings that implies. Here are some of the shots that best captured the on-ice tension. (All photos via Bruce Bennett for Getty Images.)