In their 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked like the Vegas Golden Knights did in their 1-0 loss to the Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sept. 6.Afterward, they sounded like them too.
That should serve as a warning entering Game 2 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the hub city for the Cup Final, on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Golden Knights played far better the rest of the conference final but still lost the series in five games. What did the Lightning learn from that? How can they avoid the same fate?
[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]
Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak said Sunday that everyone from Tampa Bay watched Vegas play Dallas. 
For their sake, hope so.
Entering the conference final, the Stars were more rested than the Golden Knights. Though each team went seven games in the Western Conference Second Round, Vegas ended its second round with back-to-back games and three games in four nights.
It showed in Game 1. The Stars took a quick 1-0 lead and outshot the Golden Knights 23-12 through two periods. Vegas outshot Dallas in the third 13-2 but couldn’t score. 
Afterward, the Golden Knights talked about how they didn’t have their legs, how they played better in the third, how they needed to be more engaged physically and mentally from the drop of the puck.
“We know now what we’re dealing with,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said that night, “and it’s on us to respond to that.”
The Golden Knights did respond. They won 3-0 in Game 2. They outshot the Stars 109-69 in Games 3-5. But they were outscored 8-5 in Games 3-5 and lost three in a row. They kept saying they had to stick with it and the goals would come, but they couldn’t get inside enough and couldn’t solve goalie Anton Khudobin.
Entering the Stanley Cup Final, the Stars were more rested than the Lightning. They had four days off. The Lightning had one after needing six games to defeat the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Final.
It showed in Game 1. The Stars took a quick 1-0 lead.
The Lightning tied it 1-1, but on a fluky play that actually illustrated the problems Dallas presents for Tampa Bay. Khudobin steered a rebound to the corner with his right pad. While Stars forward Roope Hintz was boxing out Lightning forward Yanni Gourde, keeping him away from the net, the puck bounced off the left skate of Gourde, off the right skate of Hintz and in.
Video: The Lightning look to even the series in Game 2
The Stars outscored the Lightning 3-1 and outshot them 18-14 through two periods. Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 22-2 in the third but couldn’t score.
“We didn’t have our legs, and we didn’t have our minds, and sometimes you can get away without having one of those, but you can’t get away with not having both,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said Sunday.
Sounds familiar.
“It’s one game, but we’ve learned a lot about our opponent already and now we know what to expect and we know what we’re in for,” Lightning forward Blake Coleman said Sunday. 
Sounds familiar.
“You’ve got to get to the inside on these guys,” Cooper said. “You’ve got to take eyes away. When the goalie can see the puck in this league, usually, they’re pretty much stopping all of those. You have to make it disruptive. You have to make them uncomfortable in their surroundings. …
“Basically, they defend well, they get in lanes, and they make it hard on you, and when you do get your opportunities, you have to capitalize.”
That sounds familiar too.
“I think Vegas, probably one of the things that was frustrating for them at times is they had a bunch of guys used to scoring that weren’t,” Cooper said. “And the big thing is you have to just keep fighting through that, because when guys are used to doing something and it’s not happening for them, that’s when it can disrupt their game.
“The one thing for us is we’ve had to fight through that in three series now against some defensive teams.”
True, and that could be the difference.
The Golden Knights played the 16th- and 21st-best defensive teams in the regular season in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs: the Chicago Blackhawks (3.06 goals against per game) and Vancouver Canucks (3.10).
To them, Dallas presented a different challenge. The Stars were the second-best defensive team in the regular season (2.52). 
The Lightning, the best offensive team in the regular season (3.47), have played the third-, first- and ninth-ranked defensive teams in the regular season in the first three rounds: the Columbus Blue Jackets (2.61), Boston Bruins (2.39) and Islanders (2.79).
To them, Dallas could be, should be, more of the same challenge. We’ll see.
“We just have to fight through this and go to those dirty areas and, like I said, make the game uncomfortable for them,” Cooper said.
Vegas will tell you that’s easier said than done.